• Fears exclusion could lead to litigations
• Yari warns President Buhari against imposition
• Party to rake in N1 billion from sale of forms
As All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention Screening Committee began its work on Tuesday evening, there are strong indications that all the national chairmanship aspirants will be cleared to face the delegates despite talks of consensus option.
The Guardian learnt that the Governor Aminu Masari-led screening committee has been advised to make the exercise “accomodate aspirants for the entire party positions.”
A source confided in The Guardian that the aim was to avoid any issue that could constitute a clog in the wheels of the national convention.
The source said, “We don’t want anything that would give any of the aspirants excuse to approach the court to stall the convention. We have had enough of troubles. We don’t want to go to court or have any other trouble by screening out any of the aspirants.”
The source said similar privilege has been extended to all other aspirants vying for other party offices at both the national and zonal levels of the party.
Aspirants for the national chairmanship office that had been micro zoned to the North Central include: Senators Abdullahi Adamu, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, Sani Musa, George Akume, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha and Mr Mohammed Etsu.
It was also gathered that the party will rake in about N1 billion from the sale of nomination forms to the aspirants.
Former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, who is from Northwest would also have his fate to be decided by the delegates, as he may also scale through the screening exercise that will be completed today.
But Yari has advised President Muhammdu Buhari not to single-handedly pick national chairman of the party at Saturday’s convention of the party in Abuja.
He said the advice became imperative because of the mistake he made in chosing former chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and its effect on the party.
Yari, who was at the Senate to meet APC caucus asked the lawmakers to dismiss insinuations that the President has ‘anointed’ Senator Adamu as the next national chairman of the ruling party.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with the senators, Yari said: “The President made mistake in the past by anointing Adams Oshiomhole single handedly, nobody voted for him, he was anointed as the national chairman and you can see the result today, do you want to remain like that?”
He said the President has since debunked the insinuation of backing Adamu for the party office.
Yari said, “You have also been reading in the newspapers that President Muhammadu Buhari did not anoint anybody, the Special Adviser on Media, Garba Shehu has since clarified that.
“We are trying to break those jinx, we must come through the ballot box so that we can respect the votes of the people not by picking an individual.
“Let me remind them, those that think they can just be pushed forth to come and do it, that it will not be business as usual.”
On the zoning arrangement whereby the party zoned the national chairmanship position to North Central he said, “I am not aware of that, because what we were briefed is that the positions of the North should go to the South and that of the South to the North.
“That is what the caucus sat down to agree and I am one of them, I want you to discard information from the social media. In any case one thing we should be determined to do is to bring about true democracy.
He said he has already purchased his form and he knows that it is the National Assembly that makes laws for everyone. “Whether reconciliation or any other process I have already picked form. We are ready to meet at the ballot box.”
Yari dismissed zoning as unconstitutional in APC.
“We know the Constitution of the party. It did not segregate where one comes from and I will work hard to ensure that I emerge Chairman. We will deliver based on the Constitution of the party,” Yari added, while urging stakeholders not to vote someone like their former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
“The contest should not be about where you came from, it should be about what you can do.”
MEANWHILE, Muslim Integrity Forum has called on President Buhari to reconsider the purported endorsement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the chairmanship of the party.
Coordinator of the Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Yusuf who spoke to reporters yesterday in Abuja argued that the call was in the best interest of the party.
The group alleged that Adamu lacks the wherewithal to be a good party administrator, especially a crisis-ridden party like the APC in an election year.
“The APC as a party whose ideology is based on anti corruption, integrity and good governance can not afford to present Senator Adamu as the National Chairman of our party because it will be used against the party during electioneering campaign. They will laugh at us and rubbish the integrity of our party.
“The fact is that, Abdullahi Adamu is not the only Muslim from North Central, we have people like Al-Makura, Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha, among others that can do the job.
“The age of Adamu should also be considered as apart from his fraudulent records, Adamu lacks the physical energy and charisma to move round the country and seat for long hours, as it is required of a National Chairman of a governing party in a country like Nigeria,” it said.
ALSO a section of stakeholders from the North have thrown their weight behind the aspiration of Mr Olusegun Dada for the seat of the National Youth Leader.
The group led by Malam Saminu Musa Dazara at a press conference called on the Presidential aspirant of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the caretaker chairman of the party, Mai Mala Buni to support Dada.
The stakeholders described Dada as a result driven personality that is focused, transparent and accountable.