Politics

Yari to battle six North Central APC chairmanship aspirants

  • ‘Zoning officed just a guide’
  • Modu Sheriff bows out of the race

By JOSHUA OMOLOYE

Of the seven contenders, a former governor of Zamafara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, comes outside the north-central zone to which the party ceded the position.

As submission of nomination forms by aspirants wishing to contest different positions in Saturday’s national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) closed on Friday, it became certain that seven aspirants are in the race for the office of national chairman of the party.

He is from the north west zone. Aspirants from north central who collected nomination forms and returned same to the party secretariat before close of work on Friday are Mohammed Sani-Musa, a senator representing Niger East senatorial district; Nasarawa Senator Abdullahi Adamu; Tanko Almakura, also a former governor of Nasarawa State; Saliu Mustapha, deputy national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); George Akume, a former governor of Benue State; and Mohammed Saidu-Etsu. However, acting spokesperson of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, (CECPC), Ismael Mustapha, has said despite zoning to north central, Yari has not violated the party’s constitution for seeking to become the national chairman.

This, he said because party’s zoning schedule is a guide to party affairs and not constitutional. “Zoning is just a guide for members of a political party, it’s what the members of the APC have agreed to follow, The Trumpet gathered.

It is not in the constitution of the APC. Members of the party have the constitutional right to pursue any ambition they want to pursue,” said Mustapha. Meanwhile, one of the most colourful contender for the Chairmanship position, Ali Modu Sheriff from the north east come has bowed out of the race. The former governor of Borno State flagged down his ambition on the account that the position has been zoned to the north central.

The Chairmanship aspirants haven assured their supporters of brighter chances of winning at the March 26 national convention, also pledged to unite the party and boost APC’s opportunity of retaining power beyond 2023. Yari, according to his campaign manager, Tijani Kaura, is going to change the narratives of the party if he wins.

Kaura said: “Abdulaziz Yari has been a down to earth politician, he was a party secretary in Zamfara state 2 decades ago, from there he rose to the party chairman in the state before he became a member of the House of Representatives. “He became the executive governor of the state for eight(8) years and was chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum. That is enough experience to lead this great party.

That has allowed him to contact the 36 state governors of the federation to sell his chairmanship.

“I can assure you that today, Abdulaziz Yari has sold himself and he has been purchased by all members of the party across the 36 states of the federation, and I can assure you that on the 26th of March, when we get to Eagles Square, you will see what I mean.”

Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s group led by Lawrence Onuchukwu noted that antecedents of the serving Senator and two term governor of Nasarawa State shows that he is the man ready and prepared for the party’s number one seat. On the rumoured endorsement of his principal by President Muhammadu Buhari, Onuchukwu said: “If that rumour is anything to go by, it is a boost for us. Mr President, as a man of integrity I’m sure will not want to associate himself with someone who does not have capacity to actualize the vision of this party.

“And you are also aware that we must not pretend that the party has some challenges and you need an administrator, a politician, you need a person who can handle the party,” he said.

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Senator Barnabas Gemade, former national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) who led the Senator George Akume’s campaign noted that “as a two term Governor of Benue State, Senator of the Federal Republic for three tenure and a serving Minister of the Federal Republic, his chances are good.

“Whatever the party chooses. The party has the final say. If at the end of the day, the party is able to consummate a consensus exercise for this contest, we will agree with it. “However, they decide there should be a balloting for this contest we will go with the balloting and whatever the outcome is, we will accept.”

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