APC govs seal Yahaya Bello’s presidential ambition, zone party’s chairmanship to North Central
Presidency may go to South East
Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the auspices of the Progressive Governor’s Forum (PGF) may have put a seal on the presidential ambition of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, after agreeing to zone the party’s chairmanship to North Central, his immediate geo-political zone.
The governors reached the consensus on Wednesday after days of marathon meetings ahead of the party’s national convention.
A source, who was present at the meeting, confirmed the development to News Band on Thursday.
The source also revealed that a former governor of Benue State, George Akume, may emerge as the consensus chairmanship candidate.
It was also gathered that the progressive governors zoned the party’s deputy national chairman and national secretary positions to the South.
Party leaders and governors from the South will, however, meet and decide how to zone the deputy national chairman and national secretary positions among the zones.
The meeting convened on Tuesday to deliberate and arrive at a consensus after which they would communicate their decision on the issue of consensus and zoning of party offices had ended in deadlock.
After the meeting, the APC governors said they were divided on whether to zone the national chairmanship position to either the North Central or North East.
However, at their meeting which continued yesterday, the governors eventually settled for the North Central to produce the party’s national chairman.
With the development, Governor Bello’s presidential ambition may be hanging on a thin balance as his zone cannot be expected produce both the chairman and the presidential candidate at the same time.
It has also created a vista for the Presidency to go to the South East geo-political zone to assuage the yearnings for the Igbos for a president of Igbo extraction.
In the meantime, some APC aspirants have written President Muhammad Buhari expressing confidence in the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
This was contained in an open letter to President Buhari on Wednesday, by aspirants vying for party offices in the forthcoming national convention under the aegis of the Forum of APC Aspirants for 2022 National Convention, signed by a leading aspirant for the position of national youth leader, Maxwell Yakubu Gowon, on behalf of other aspirants.
Gowon stated that the Buni-led convention committee has done nothing to suggest that the aspirants would lose confidence in the process.
The letter reads in parts: “We find it ridiculous that the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), which under the leadership of His Excellency Buni worked tirelessly to resolve some of the crisis in the party, was criminally maligned by Lukman.
“He accused the Committee of being high handed and yet expects the same Committee to disregard the views strongly expressed by the party’s stakeholders pertaining to conditions that must be met to have a successful convention.
“It is pertinent to state that the clamour from stakeholders have been majorly about redressing the damages done by the governors at the state chapters, which would make mockery of democracy and our great party if the mistake is made of progressing with the convention without first addressing them.
“The CECPC refusal to plunge the party further into crisis by succumbing to the whims of the governors, for whom Lukman speaks, is the reason that the Committee and its leadership came under the kind of scathing attack contained in the open letter.”