In contradiction to the opinions of pundits that all positions in hitherto held in the party by the North would revert to the South, which underpinned the emergence of Sen. Adamu Abdulahi as the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recent national convention of the party.
The National Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, against analyst’s opinions has declared that the APC under his watch has not zoned its presidential ticket to the South.
Abdullahi made the startling statement while addressing reporters on Friday, 30 April, 2022 in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja after presenting the Ekiti State Governorship Candidate of the party, Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
It stands to reason therefore that all zoning calculations in the APC primaries are off as at now. A Battle royale is thus on the card at the party’s primaries for all tickets available.
Answering the direct question of the zone that would produce the APC presidential standard bearer, Abdullahi declared: “I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot preempt what the party decision will be.”
The APC has scheduled its presidential primary for Monday, May 30 – 1 June, 2022.
Sources within the APC who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that the volte-face by Abdullahi might not be unconnected with the failure of the high price tag – N100 million – slapped on the expression of interest and nomination forms by the National Working Committee of the APC to whittle down the relatively high number of presidential aspirants in the party.
One of the sources stated that Abdullahi’s pronouncement was also indicative of the difficulty “those favourably disposed to consensus as a means to pick our presidential candidate are facing.”
The source said: “It is becoming clearer to them every minute that they cannot achieve consensus in the presidential primaries like they did at the Eagle Square during our convention. Even that one you know how difficult it was for them to do it. We all saw how contestants came on stage to say they were just being told to accept consensus right there on the convention ground. Did you not see that some of them even cried on stage?
“The caliber of leaders buying the presidential forms is such that you cannot just push them to accept consensus like that. And you know consensus is illegal if all of them don’t officially write to say ‘I am withdrawing for so and so consensus candidate’. So that is the problem. It is not easy this time. I think we have to go to Eagle Square and allow the delegates to vote in a free and fair election. Anything outside this might become a problem for us. There is no time again. The Electoral Act has closed in the time to rigmarole for us, anyway not just for us in APC but for all political parties. ”
The favourable disposition of President Buhari to using the consensus arrangement to pick the 2023 candidates of the party is well known.
In fact, public affairs analysts claimed that the consensus form of primary election was inserted into the amended Electoral Act by the National Assembly in order to please the President and secure his assent to the Act, which he signed off epventually.