APC Chairmanship: Battle not a do or die affair

Ahead of the Extraordinary National Convention of the ruling All Progressive Congress,(APC), where a new National Chairman of the party was expected to emerge, one of the contenders to the office, Senator George Akume has appealed to all other contenders that the coming battle was not a do or die affair.

No fewer than 11 aspirants were jostling for the Chairmanship ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.

They include a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Salisu Mustapha, former Governor of Nasarawa state, Senator Tanko Almakura, two former Governors of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff and Kashim Shetima, former Gombe state, Danjuma Goje, former Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, former member of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Buba and a one time APC Chairman in the Federal Capital Territory, Sunny Moniedafe.

The APC came on board in 2013 after the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance coalesced to flush the ruling People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) out of power ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Its Interim National Chairman was Bisi Akande who held the new coalition together until the National Convention that produced John Odigi-Oyegun as the first elected Chairman of the party.

He was succeeded under controversial circumstances, by the near rancorous Convention that produced former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomohle as the next National Chaiman until he was swept aside by crisis, even before the end of his first tenure, which paved the way for the emergence of the Mai Mala Bunu led reconciliation Committee which has now transformed into Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.

But Senator George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, and a contender to the office of National Chairman of the Party, said the contest was not a do or die affair.

He told members of Middlebelt Youth Vanguard who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja that his major concern was for the position to be zoned to the North-Central.

“We are still going on with our state congresses, after that it will be the National Convention. Our prayer is that let this position be zoned to the North-Central.

“I have not declared, but after appropriate consultations and the zoning, we will do the needful. When that occasion arises I will be depending on you. Whoever gets your support is close to getting the victory.

“Also in our zone, we are all committed that whoever emerges will get the support of all of us. It is not a do-or-die affair,” Akume said.

He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government was committed to youth’s development as demonstrated in the signing of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act.

He added that this was also demonstrated in other youths focused programmes being implemented by the administration.

“No nation toils with the destiny of its youths,” Akume said.

The minister said that the administration was committed to the development of the country through infrastructure especially road and rail projects.

He noted that in spite of obvious challenges, the country has done well under the Buhari-led administration, saying that what was needed was the support of Nigerians for it to do more.

Akume thanked the group for the visit and urged members to continue to use the platform to pursue things that unite the region and Nigeria, rather than things that sought to create division in the country.

The minister said that the administration was committed to the development of the country through infrastructure especially road and rail projects.

He noted that in spite of obvious challenges, the country has done well under the Buhari-led administration, saying that what was needed was the support of Nigerians for it to do more.

Akume thanked the group for the visit and urged members to continue to use the platform to pursue things that unite the region and Nigeria, rather than things that sought to create division in the country.

He advised Nigerian youths to continue to project things that unite the country, which he said were many, stressing, “We are better off as one untied and indivisible nation.”

Earlier, Mr Prince Miaphen, the President of the group, disclosed that Akume has been endorsed as the preferred candidate of the group for the position of APC national chairman.

He said the group endorsed him at the last Executive Council meeting in Plateau because he stood out among other aspirants.

“We are here today to tell you that the Middlebelt Youth Vanguard is adopting you as our candidate for APC national chairman 2021.

“Haven considered the characters and positions of all aspirants from the North-Central and other geo-political zones, we said it would be proper and most appropriate for us to zero-in on one person that will better represent us as a region.

“And the person that has the connection beyond the region that can deliver for APC in the 2023 general elections is Akume.

“This was supported by further nominations and confirmations across virtually the entire North-Central, so we arrived at a consensus that not only should we adopt you, but to also canvas support for you,” he said.

He added that the group would embark on a campaign especially in the North and South to draw support for Akume to ensure that he emerged as the APC national chairman.

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