The lobby for who emerges the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is mounting. The campaign for the top has seen subtle agitation from different geo-political zones. So far, most of those angling for the seat are from the Northern region.
Since its formation in 2013, the APC has had its national chairmen from the southern part of the country, namely Chief Bisi Akande, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
So far, former Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari; former governor of Borno State Ali Modu-Sheriff; former chairman of ACN in Abuja, Mr Sunny Moniedafe have been listed as being interested in occupying the position.
The contest for the position has throw up intriguing narratives. Some have argued that the seat should be micro-zoned to a particular state in the northern.
Other party chieftains, especially from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), are also demanding that a member from their fold should be the next national chairman. CPC was one of the legacy parties that formed the APC. They argue that the other legacies parties, ACN and ANPP have occupied the seat.
Leading this argument, the Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, said the North Central zone, particularly Nasarawa State, has to produce the national chairman of APC.
Advancing his reasons during the flag off of the APC registration and validation exercise in the state, Sule also said the APC national caucus should allow the next chairman come from the CPC wing of the party.
Sule however commended his immediate predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, for bringing CPC to limelight, recalling that the party had only Nasarawa State, during the merger that brought about the APC.
“I remember of the day of the election in 2011 in front of me, because I have been in Dangote, I would not have been in any other political party than the ruling party at the time. So openly, I was in PDP, but my brothers and sisters were voting CPC right in front of me.
“If Nigeria would be kind to CPC, Nasarawa State is the place to look. That is my message to Nigeria today, because I believe that if in any other way we want to say that CPC we want to be kind to you, then we should be kind to Nasarawa State at any other level,” he said.
However while some pundits aver that the Nasarawa governor might be subtly campaigning for his predecessor to get the position, a visit by some former CPC members to Al-Makura at his Jabi office, in Abuja, hints at a broader political scheme.
Leading the team to meet Almakura, former national youth leader of CPC, Abdullahi Maikudi, declared support for him to emerge national chairman of APC.
While the party’s secretary in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Bello also chorused support for Al-Makura’s ambition, chairman of Lafia local government area of the state, Muazu Maifata, echoed the sentiments of the state governor on the zoning of the national chairmanship.
He said, “I am 100% in support of what His Excellency, Gov Abdullahi Sule, said that if the APC will be fair to our dear state, the national chairmanship slot supposed to to come to Nasrawa State, for equity and fairness”
“There is no two ways about it, we in Nasarawa State, gave birth to APC via CPC, so any body concerned should support Nasarawa State and in particular Al-Makura, to become the national chairman of our great party, APC” he said.
Reacting however, one of the aspirants for the top seat, Sunny Moniedafe, said while the governor and his supporters are entitled to their views, he feels the party ought to have grown beyond seeking for the top seat along lines of the legacy parties that formed the party.
He argued that the party has grown beyond those sentiment and is poised to elect a chairman that will serve the interest of all members.
“If you ask me, I believe we have gone beyond party lines. As much as I respect his views and permutations, I think it is important that we look for merit and capacity in choosing who the next chairman should be.
“I have my strong points which is that I am a true Nigerian considering that I am an Urohbo man who was born in Adamawa State. What the country needs today is unity. We should look for what unites us in this period of agitation. We should look for people that can better unite the party and the country,” he said.
However, a political analyst, and lawyer, Abdullahi Ladan, believes that the seat should rotate to another camp in the party since it has been occupied by the ACN and ANPP.
“The immediate past national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was also from the defunct ACN. Even the current interim national caretaker committee chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, is a hybrid of the defunct ACN and ANPP,so there is nothing wrong in the argument for another legacy party to occupy the seat,” he said.
As it stands, intrigues arising from the membership registration and revalidation process within the party are mounting. How the party handles this immediate concern would be indicative of how it handles the chairmanship tussle.