2023: We have not zoned presidency – APC

April 29, 2022
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Abdullahi Adamu APC Chairman
Abdullahi Adamu, APC Chairman
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April 29, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it was yet to decide on the zone which will produce its 2023 presidential candidate.

The Party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Friday, shortly after he presented the party’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming Ekiti governorship election, Biodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adamu’s position on zoning is coming just after the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), on Thursday, told the major political parties to throw the contest for their presidential tickets open to all sections of the country, saying that the “power shift arrangement is already dead and buried.”

However, when asked where the party would zone its presidential ticket to, Adamu said such a decision is beyond the National Working Committee (NWC) and is the prerogative of the entire party, which, he acknowledged, is bigger than the chairman.

According to him, “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.

“We will come out by the grace of God, at the appropriate time (with) the candidate the convention will choose. I do not want to speculate.”

On fears that the process of settling for a presidential candidate could tear the party apart, if not carefully handled, he said: “God will not allow that to happen to us. We will come out, by the grace of God, at the appropriate time, the candidate at the convention for our great party will be chosen.

“I do not want to speculate, but my duty as chairman is to listen to party men, party leaders, stakeholders, to see what is going to be best when the time comes and I’ve always found it easier and more noble to get a bridge before I jump to cross it. We are not yet there”, he said.

Responding to raging issues of when political appointees who intend to contest in the elections are expected to resign their current appointments, especially in the light of the party’s recently issued guidelines for those in the category, Adamu declined comment, pointing out that the matter is in court.

“Thank you very much for your question. Our luck on this end is that I happen to be a lawyer and the issue you are raising is in court right now. So, it will be subjudice for me to discuss it at all”, he said.

Responding to the cost of the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms considered rather high by many, Adamu said the party has no regret setting the prices at the current rate.

He cited the need to protect the party from non-serious aspirants and moles as well as the need to generate money to run the election processes.

“Yeah, I’ve been listening with rapt attention to the hues and cries from our lovers and from our adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever. We did some homework, we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through presidential campaign, go through election for the President. We know what it takes.

“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contests, but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheap by the roadside, and assert what they call their rights and create problems for our party.

“We’re also aware that some parties that have no chance whatsoever to win presidential election in Nigeria, they will sponsor people into parties that have prospects for winning the election, to create problems for us, to divert our attention, whichever party is involved in that.

“Over and above that, yes, we are the ruling party. Yes, we need to set examples in what we do, but I ask you, I don’t know which part of the country you come from, If God forbid, your traditional ruler dies today, contestants to that office will go for more than N100 million, it’s no news.

“When I contested for the Senate, all I paid was just a token; N5 million, N10 million, include the expression. When my colleague wanted to be chairman of the party, in the days of Adams Oshiomhole, it took him N500,000. Today, for me, just as an example, to contest the national chairman of our party, I had to pay N20 million to contest.

“Alright, and even the enormity of work that has to be done, and this work will be done with money. We don’t want to continue going a begging.

“So, I want to say that we’re able to mobilise sufficient funds to support our efforts to win election. Some protests may be well founded, I have no quarrel with that, but the propensity of this, that people just assume ‘it’s the ruling party’, is a quick… in our democracy.

“I will not quarrel with that, everyone of us has the right to express himself, and I’m in full support of these obligations, but we wear the shoes for our party and we know where it pinches us the most one”, he explained.

Adamu was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Kebbi State governor and Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu; and the National Secretary of the APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

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