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APC Presidential Aspirants against Buhari’s plan to choose his successor

Some stakeholders and presidential aspirants in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are prepared for a fight and have started mobilizing to prevent the emergence of a consensus presidential candidate. They are also fighting to ensure that the party’s standard-bearer does not emerge via imposition.

Spyconnect gathered that some APC governors are holed up in Abuja, meeting on a regional basis, and working on the “consensus mandate.”

“They are to prevail on aspirants from their regions to step down if they are not chosen as the consensus candidate. We must achieve a consensus by the weekend. They are to discuss with the aspirants.

“Those who accept to step down will be refunded their N100 million nomination form fees or rewarded with positions if APC wins,” a source close to one of the Northern APC governors said.

It was gathered yesterday that the next stage of the battle would be fought at the National Working Committee, NWC, where decisions would be taken on the report of the Presidential Screening Committee chaired by one-time Edo State governor and former APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. The seven-man panel concluded its two-day work on Wednesday. It was not clear last night if it had turned in its report.

However, sources said a decision on the panel’s report will be informed by how well the governors get the aspirants to step down.

APC National Vice-Chairman, North-West, Salihu Moh. Lukman, early in the week, accused the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, of being dictatorial and not carrying other members of the NWC along in his decisions. Recently, the National Executive Committee, NEC, ceded its powers to the NWC for 90 days. In essence, whatever the NWC decides on the Odigie-Oyegun committee’s report is final.

It was gathered yesterday that some aspirants are not comfortable with Senator Adamu’s style, especially as he declared upon taking over the reins of the APC in March that he would work with the plans of President Muhammadu Buhari to install the next president.

Indeed, President Buhari, on Tuesday, appealed to governors elected on the platform of the APC to allow him to pick his successor. The appeal, yesterday, raised dust in the polity.

The President’s succession plan elicited sharp criticisms from APC national stakeholders, and a member of the NWC, Salihu Moh. Lukman; the Pan Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF; former General Secretary of the YorubSocio-Political Group, Afenifere, Basorun Sehinde Arogbofa; and Dr Yemi Farounbi.

However, Governor Yahaya Bello, who is aspiring to succeed Buhari on the banner of the APC, Senator Ali Ndume, and Convener of the Progressives Lawyers for Osinbajo, Dr Kayode Ajulo threw their weight behind Buhari. While Ndume said Buhari’s move is democratic, Ajulo urged APC governors to reciprocate, and Governor Yahaya Bello through his campaign organization said Buhari is the leader of the party and knows what to do to keep APC in power.

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