Ganduje intensifies lobby as N’Central APC demands chairmanship slot

A former governor of Kano State, Umaru Ganduje, has intensified lobbying in his bid to emerge as the next National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

The crisis within the ruling party led to the sudden exit of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Iyiola Omisore as the party’s National Chairman and National Secretary, respectively.

Ganduje from the North-West zone has been visiting prominent members of the party to solicit support for his ambition, but the North-Central zone is opposed to his clinching the coveted position.

However, Ganduje was said to have secured the backing of President Bola Tinubu and the Progressives Governors’ Forum.

The PGF, an umbrella body of governors elected on the APC platform, which met in Abuja, has reportedly agreed to back Ganduje as Adamu’s successor.

A source noted that the former governor met with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, on Sunday in Abuja as he intensified his lobby to be the consensus candidate for the party’s top job.

It was also revealed that the former governor earlier met with Senator Aliyu Wamakko, a former governor of Sokoto State, in his Asokoro residence in Abuja on Saturday.

The source, who shared pictures of the meetings under the condition of anonymity, noted that the sessions were meant to lobby and inform the party chieftains of Ganduje’s desire to be the next chairman of the ruling party.

But stating their opposition to the development, the chairmen of the APC in the North-Central zone frowned on moves by the ex-governor to succeed Adamu.

The party chairmen insisted that for fairness and equity, the chairmanship position should remain in the North-Central zone “since it was unanimously zoned to the area during the party’s National Convention last year.’’

The Nasarawa State Chairman of the APC, John Mamman, stated this on behalf of the group during an interview with our correspondent in Lafia on Sunday.

He said, “All members of the All Progressives Congress in the country are aware that the national chairmanship position of our party was zoned to the North-Central during the National Convention.

“Now that the position is vacant and there won’t be another zoning but replacement, it is expected that we in the North-Central zone should retain the position for fairness and equity.

“As leaders of the North-Central, we (chairmen) are hoping that the party will leave the national chairmanship position for us because apart from that, we do not have any other top position in the country. So, we are appealing that the party and all our members should see reason with us why we should retain the position.”

Also, the National Vice Chairman for APC North-West, Mallam Salihu Lukman, threw his weight behind the clamour by the North-Central to retain the national chairmanship position.

Lukman appealed to President Tinubu to follow constitutional order by allowing the National Working Committee to choose Adamu’s successor from the North-Central.

He made the appeal in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday titled: ‘APC and Question of Party Building.’

“The issue is whether as the leader of the party, President Asiwaju Tinubu is committed to restoring constitutional order within the APC. Restoring constitutional order would require some demonstration of commitment to give life to the statutory organs of the APC so that the debate about replacing the national chairman and all existing vacancies, including that of the national secretary will be done within the structures of the party.”

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