Aspirants kick at convention as governments push for consensus

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Governors who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are pushing for the establishment of the National Working Committee (NWC) through consensus ahead of the party’s February convention, according to Daily Trust.

Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), stated on Monday, following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, that the party’s convention will be held in February.

On Sunday, the APC governors met in Abuja to discuss the convention in great detail. Following the scheming of 13 governors, the PDP convened its convention last month, with the national chairman and other crucial positions emerging by consensus.

A new NWC that would lead the affairs of the ruling party for four years would emerge at the end of the convention.

A caretaker committee chaired by the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, has been running the affairs of the party since June 2020 when Adams Oshiomhole was ousted.

Multiple party sources told our correspondents that the chairman and other key positions would emerge through consensus. During the just-concluded states congresses of the party, members of the State Working Committees (SWCs) were elected through consensus arrangements, a development that created crisis in 12 states.

One of the sources, a member of the Buni-committee, said the consensus arrangement was being pushed by the governors to save the party from implosion.

“The chairman and others will hopefully emerge through consensus. We don’t want to go into our primaries with more crises. If we elect our chairman and others through contestation, it would worsen the challenges facing our party, “he said.

An aspirant for the chairmanship position, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the issue of consensus should be jettisoned.

He said all the contenders should be given a level-playing field to contest and wait for the outcome at the convention.

Another chieftain of the party urged the leaders to be wary of the acrimony that would befall the party if consensus is adopted.

“Consensus failed to yield the desired result in the recently conducted ward, local government and state congresses as some governors and other APC bigwigs imposed their preferred candidates on the people. If we allow this to happen at the national level, our party will be doomed,” he said.

Featuring on BBC Hausa Service yesterday, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, explained why the convention was fixed for February.

“We have considered the possibility of holding the convention because it was scheduled for the end of December, and our colleagues in the southern states and the Christians said that is their Christmas season and it should be postponed to next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, a former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has demanded that the chairmanship position be zoned to the North East.

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Sheriff, who spoke through Sen Victor Lar, the Director Media for his campaign organisation, said APC needs someone like him, who would hit the ground running to galvanise support for the party’s victory in 2023.

A governorship candidate of the party in Imo State during the 2019 election, Uche Nwosu, has warned the leadership of the party to reconcile all warring factions in states before proceeding with its planned national convention.

Nwosu, an in-law to a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, argued that holding its convention in February without first resolving the crises ravaging some state chapters of the party would amount to “setting the cart before the horse”.

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