Cover Politics

National convention: APC stakeholders reactivate pre – merger blocs

…ACN, CPC, ANPP blocs in separate meetings

…Development signpost of disunity in APC, says Ex Gov, Yari

By Ezeocha Nzeh

As the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares to elect its new National Working Committee (NWC) in a yet to be announced date for National Convention, the three major political blocs that merged in 2014 to form the party have reactivated their groups as the battle for the party’s NWC core positions have ensued.

The AUTHORITY gathered reliably that stakeholders from the various [political blocs ( Action Congress of Nigeria ACN,  Congress for Progressives Change CPC, All Nigerian Peoples Party ANPP and new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) that merged to form the APC have been holding separate meetings to ensure that their blocs are not left behind in the scheme of putting together the upcoming NWC.

The APC has been led by a 13 man Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), which is being headed Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state, that was inaugurated by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), on June 25, 2020, following the sacking of the then Adams Oshiomhole led NWC.

The CECPC was given an initial six months mandate to reconcile all aggrieved [party stakeholders as well as conduct a national Convention that would usher in a new National Working Committee for the party.

The caretaker committee, which is currently in its second extended six months term, have commenced the process of conducting a national convention as it has conducted the , with the Local Government congresses billed to hold on September 4.

The political blocs have however intensified efforts through separate meetings to ensure that they their they grab the juicy positions at the planned national convention.

Sources close to some of the pre – merger political blocs confirmed to The AUTHORITY that series of separate meetings have been held by stakeholders from the ACN, CPC and ANPP to put them together to battle for the party’s National chairmanship position

Among the party members who have indicate interest in the APC National chairmanship seat are former Governors of Nasarawa and Zamfara states, senator Umaru Tanko Almakura and Abdulaziz Yari respectively. Others included former senator Mohammed Sani Musa and Mustapha Salihu.

While Al Makura and Mustapha belong to the defunct CPC bloc, Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Musa Sani belong to the defunct ANPP and nPDP blocs respectiovely.

Confirming the development, one of the aspirants, former Governor Abdulaziz Yari told The AUTHORITY, “Let me tell you the truth, they are still meeting. ACN is doing it’s own, l believe CPC has done one or two and l believe ANPP is planning to do another meeting. What does that mean? If there is confidence in the party, these things are not supposed to be there. There are meetings already taking place ahead of the planned national conventions. 

“Somebody contacted me as an ANPP that we should have our meeting in one governor’s house and that they have done it in CPC somewhere. ACN has done their own somewhere. So, you can see that there are issues but if there is competency in this leadership, there would be no need for all these kinds of clamour or calling for one meeting or the other. So, these are some of those things and you should also know that at the same time we are just 8 years, we are not yet 10 years as a party that came together in a merger. So that is the misunderstanding here, left, right and center, but the issue is, if there is competence in the leadership, there would be no need for all these.”

On his chances of becoming the party’s new national chairman, inview of all the separate meeting in political blocs, Yari said “I have no any challenge because I know I have something to offer as far as the party is concerned. One, l am from the grassroots, I started doing party politics before any other thing. I started from party secretary of the ward to local government, state secretary, state chairman, National Financial secretary of the ANPP, came to the National Assembly and then Governor for two times and chairman of the NGF. I think l know all the circle. So, how to manage the party wouldn’t be a problem for me. When Yusuf Ali was the chairman in Zamfara, l was the secretary and l knew how we coordinated the chairman because he was not good in his official language. So, l attended every meeting of the NEC of the ANPP then since 1998. So, l know the intrigues, when l became the chairman, it became easy for me to manage and l knew all the channels of party administration before then. So, we coordinated all we were looking at as best for our party. So, l think if l have that opportunity to lead APC, l believe the party would never regret it.”

There has however been insinuations from certain quarters that only the ANPP and CPC have not had a short at the APC National Chairmanship position, hence the clamour for the two political blocs to occupy the seat at this moment.

“Oyegun was APP, ANP and later he joined ACN. He left ANPP long ago and joined ACN and he came into the merger under ACN, that l know and we in ANPP, we came with Ogbonnaya Onu as our national chairman So, Oyegun came from ACN when we were forming the merger. I don’t like the argument of where people are coming from, but what are they going to offer. l am concerned with the capacity of the person. He should look at our party where it is now and where it should be. That is all we should look at. It is not about shifting to this place and shifting to another place. It should be the person; is he trusted, can he do and so forth. That is all. But to clear the air, Oyegun came to the merger under ACN. In 2007, he went with Atiku to AC, when Atiku was contesting President and later ACN. Likewise Adams Oshiomhole as a sitting governor of ACN came under ACN. So, both the ANPP and CPC they have not been in the position of APC National Chairman. What we have got is National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni. We negotiated it. We also negotiated to be given a Deputy National Chairman and National Secretary. They all came from the North and we gave National Secretary to North East where they had two governors, that is Borno and Yobe and l took the position of Deputy National Chairman and gave it to somebody who was eventually from ACN because l looked at his quality and what he can do. But for the national chairman both the CPC and ANPP, we have not had it. But it is not a wrong thing if another ACN is qualified to be. What l am looking at is who is going to take us to the promise land. 

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