By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The North Central Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the leaders of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, to zone the party national chairmanship position to the North Central zone of the country as equity demands.
The group led by Kassim Muhammad, demanded this while briefing journalists at the party Secretariat yesterday, saying that the North West, North East have already taken President and Senate President respectively, hence only the North Central has not been represented.
He said “As the party prepares for a convention that will usher in democratically elected national executives, we the North Central Council are appealing to our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC Governors as well as key stakeholders of the party across country to consider the North Central for the position of the National Chairman of the party.
“The reasons for this agitation stemmed from the fact that the North West as presently constituted has a sitting President of the country, who is still left with two years to complete his eight years tenure in office.
“The North East is presently occupying the position of the Senate President, and the only geo-political zone in the North left is the North Central and for fairness and equity, the National Chairmanship of the party should be zoned to the North Central”.
Speaking further, the group urged the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to shelve his 2023 presidential ambition, warning that for a united Nigeria and for fairness, the position of President should be relinquished to the Southern Nigeria, be it East, West or South South.
According to him “The North Central Council is equally appealing to the Governor of Kogi State, HE Yahaya Bello to have a rethink over his 2023 Presidential ambition as it will be fair in the spirit of one Nigeria to allow the southern part of the country to produce the next president come 2023.
“We strongly believe that conceding the presidential ticket of our party, the APC to the southern part of the country would enhance equity and political justice. We believe that the Kogi State Governor is a true Democrat who believes in one Nigeria.
“We are therefore appealing to His Excellency, Yahaya Bello, to drop his presidential ambition, and join us in the campaign to ensure that the North Central produces the next APC National Chairman.”
They commended the APC Caretaker committee, led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, for bringing remarkable progress and success to the party since they took over the party affairs.
“The party led by HE Mai Mala Buni has done so much in healing the wounds of the past by reconciling the various factions in most affected States. The APC under Governor Buni’s leadership has witnessed peace and daily influx of members of the opposition political parties into the fold of the APC across the country; we cannot thank the Yobe State Governor enough for strengthening the party and providing credible leadership.
“The Buni leadership was able to woo a sitting Governor of a State under the PDP platform with all the structures of the party into the fold of the APC, the Governor of Ebonyi State, HE Engr. David Umahi. APC under the watchful eyes of HE Mai Mala Buni was able to bring into the fold of the
party two former speakers of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara and Dimeji Bankole, as well as former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel.
“It is also gratifying to note that the Mai Mala Buni led APC was able to bring back a former National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade and a large number of former and serving members of the national assembly across the country to swell the ranks of the ruling APC.
“We pay special tribute to HE Mai Mala Runi and his toam for suecestully reviewing the party’s membership revalidation/ registration across the country. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, what the APC needs at the moment is a committed, energetic, dynamic and experienced party man to pilot the affairs of the party, and we are glad the Yobe State Governor is doing same.
“We are therefore appealing to President Mohammadu Buhari and all the APC Governors and other key stakeholders of the party to continue to support the Mai Mala Buni led APC to succeed in his task of repositioning the party for future elections.”