APC Protocol: We have adopted zoning – Bello

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The Acting Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has said that the party’s leadership, on Tuesday, adopted the zoning report it received from the Zoning Committee led by the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak.

This is as he said the party’s National Executive Council meeting would be held next week to put in place modalities ahead of the March 26 National Convention.

Bello revealed this to journalists, on Tuesday, shortly after a meeting with CECPC members at the Party’s National Secretariat.

According to him, “The report of the zoning formula has been submitted and adopted and it will be released any moment from now. I mean the zoning formula.

“Hopefully, by next week, the NEC meeting will hold. It is a continuation of yesterday’s meeting. And just so you know, so you won’t be asking me the same thing tomorrow, we are going to be meeting every day until the convention so that we can put things together.

“Basically, today we looked at the convention sub-committee and we collected some of the reports from the committee hoping that tomorrow we will decide on the next step to take.”

“Nothing much happened today”, he noted.

On whether the former CECPC National Secretary, Dr John Akpanudoedehe, is still part of the new leadership of the party, Bello replied, “ask him”.

Only Buhari can make me resign -Akpanudoedehe

Meanwhile, the National Secretariat was thrown into disarray over news of the Secretary’s resignation.

While confusion reigned in some quarters, The PUNCH observed jubilation amongst certain groups.

Earlier, reports had filtered through the Secretariat that Akpanudoedehe had angrily resigned his position amid internal controversies.

In a swift move, however, Akpanudoedehe returned to the Secretariat to address journalists that he had not resigned and will only do so when mandated by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Speaking on Tuesday evening, Akpanudoedehe said “I have read on social media that I have resigned as Secretary of the APC. I want to state that it is not true, that I didn’t resign. If I had resigned, you would have seen my letter of resignation written by me. Someone cannot just say somebody is dead when he is alive.

“I am not bigger than the party, or bigger than the president who is the leader of the Party. I am waiting for the national chairman to come back.

“If we have a directive from the president that we should resign, we are not bigger than the president, we will do so, if we hear from him. I am stating here that the breaking news is not from me. I don’t know who announced it.”

Asked about his relationship status with the Acting Chairman, Akpanudoedehe said “Our relationship is very cordial.”

On reports that he had moved his victuals out of the party premises, he said “I don’t have any load. I come here and I leave. I have never changed my furniture. The photograph is official. I have not packed anything. I have not received any letter.

“Someone cannot say, ‘the president said.’ I have not received any letter from anywhere. As I said, nobody is bigger than the party. The issue is that, have I resigned, the answer is no. I am the national secretary of the party”.

Contest in APC at your own risk, PDP tells aspirants

In its reaction to the recent leadership shakeups in the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, on Tuesday, in Abuja, has warned political aspirants vying for various offices on the platform of the APC against “wasting their resources, time and energy” saying the CECPC has no statutory authority under the law and any State Congress or National Convention it conducts remains invalid.

The main opposition described the APC as “legally defunct, structurally crippled and no longer a legitimate and valid vehicle” to field candidates for elections under extant laws.

This came on the heels of the abrupt emergence of the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, as acting National Chairman of the CECPC in Abuja on Monday.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Tuesday titled ‘Leadership crisis: APC is defunct, not eligible to contest elections-PDP’.

Ologunagba said,  “The PDP draws the attention of intending aspirants on the platform of the APC to the fact that the CECPC has no statutory authority under the law and that any State Congress or National Convention conducted by it to produce any party leadership at any level remains invalid and unrecognized by law.

“Consequently, any Governorship, State Assembly, National Assembly as well as Presidential Primary election conducted by any leadership produced by the illegal CECPC can only produce invalid candidates just like in the case of Zamfara and Rivers States in the 2019 general elections where the APC had invalid candidates due to defective primaries.

“Our Party, therefore, urges aspirants intending to contest in the 2023 general elections under the APC as well as their supporters to read the handwriting on the wall and not waste their resources, time and energy in the APC.”

The main opposition, which described the APC as legally defunct, argued that the unilateral dismissal and replacement of Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, with his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Bello, by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as Chairman of the CECPC confirms that the CECPC is an illegal creation lacking statutory powers, authority and legitimacy of party leadership.

It said “With the absence of a National Working Committee, National Executive Committee, a Board of Trustees or legitimate structures in the States, the APC is plagued by confusion and fierce infighting by its various warlords with two National Chairmen, multiple factions in the states and a national secretariat now taken over by security agencies.

“Moreover, by virtue of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which bars a sitting governor from holding ‘any other executive office in any capacity whatsoever’ while serving as a State Governor, the APC’s CECPC whether headed by Governor Buni or Governor Bello remains constitutionally invalid.”

Chairmanship: APC Muslim Forum rejects Adamu’s endorsement

Meanwhile, some stakeholders of the APC under the auspices of the APC Muslim Integrity Forum Tuesday in Abuja kicked against the endorsement of former governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Adamu, as the next National Chairman.

The pioneer Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum has reportedly secured the nod of the President, Major General Buhari (retd.), ahead of the APC National Convention which has raised dust in several quarters.

Reacting to the development during a press conference, the forum’s National Coordinator, Abubakar Yusuf, urged the President and other party leaders to scrutinise the lawmaker and his past activities, integrity and commitment, age and physical fitness and his role as proponent of the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s

According to Yusuf, the APC whose ideology is based on anti-corruption, integrity and good governance cannot front Abdullahi Adamu as the party’s national chairman because it will be used against the party during election campaigns.

“They will laugh at us and rubbish the integrity of our party. We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to critically examine the person of Abdullahi Adamu and his past activities, his integrity and commitment, age and physical fitness and his role as  the arrow head of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third agenda.

“A man who does not believe in democratic principles cannot be a good party administrator, especially in a crisis ridden Party like ours in an election year.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and all  leaders of our party to withdraw  the purported endorsement of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, considering his badly damaged records, his age and the requirements of the office of the National Chairman with the view of replacing him if at all such alleged endorsement exists.”

The APCMIF which maintained that Adamu is not the only Muslim chairmanship aspirant from the Northcentral, called on party leaders to support other aspirants such as Umar Al-Makura, Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha among others.

It said, “The fact is, Abdullahi Adamu is not the only Muslim from Northcentral Nigeria, we have people like Umar Al-Makura, Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha among others that can do the job.

“The age of Senator Adamu should also be considered, Adamu lacks the physical energy and charisma to move round the country and sit for long hours as is required of a National Chairman of a governing party in a country like Nigeria.”

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Kenny Dice

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