The All Progressives Congress didn’t reach any agreement to cede the 2023 presidential ticket of the party to the South-West geo-political zone, according to a report by Vanguard.
The report by Vanguard said some top shots of the party faulted reports that there was an unwritten agreement and understanding among founders of the party in 2013 ceded the presidential ticket to the South West.
One of the bigwigs, who played crucial roles in the formation of the APC, and in the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the party’s presidential primaries in Lagos in 2014 and the election proper in 2015, said: “Nothing like that happened. There was no meeting whatsoever to talk about ceding power to the South-West.”
Another top shot of the party spoke in like manner, adding that it is difficult to tell if President Buhari would back the South-West to produce his successor, even if such an agreement was ever reached, adding, “we don’t know who will succeed President Buhari, but we know those who will not succeed him.”
Meanwhile, two days to the March 26 national convention, the ruling party is still mired in disagreement over the zoning of positions and which part of the country should produce its presidential candidate for the 2023 poll.
Although the party hierarchy agreed recently that the North and South should swap positions in 2023, which means the South should produce the President while the North produces party national chairman, there are still clamour for the seat to be thrown open.
Zoning formula causes a stir
Also, at a time many party faithful had bought nomination forms, based on the zoning formula party stakeholders agreed, for which the APC had generated N700 million as of press time, there is disquiet in many states over zoning and adoption of some aspirants as consensus candidates.
In the South-East, the Abia State chapter of the APC kicked against the adoption of Henry Ikoh as consensus candidate for National vice chairman, South-East, by some Abia leaders.
Abia APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Okey Ezeala said there is no iota of truth in the adoption of Ikoh as consensus national vice chairman, South-East because “the position of National vice chairman, South-East is not zoned to Abia State. It was zoned to Imo State. What is zoned to Abia is National Welfare Secretary. Abia State APC exco and stakeholders have unanimously nominated F.M. Nwosu as consensus candidate for national welfare secretary. That was why major chieftains of the party in Abia, which include General Ogbonnaya Okoro, General Chinedu Abraham, and Gen Charles Nwogbe accompanied him to the APC national secretariat to collect the nomination form. He is the one the APC in Abia State is supporting.”
The hope of Senator Iyiola Omisore to become the consensus candidate for the office of National Secretary hung in the balance, yesterday, as three other chieftains of the party joined the race.
Seen as the candidate of National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there have been reported attempts by some governors in the zone to get other critical stakeholders to endorse Senator Omisore.
Documents sighted by Vanguard, yesterday, showed that two aspirants have emerged from Oyo State to challenge Omisore. Oyo has been making a case to have the office micro-zoned to her since it currently does not have an APC governor. The two aspirants from Oyo are a former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; and Professor Olaiya Abideen Olaitan. There is another contender from Ondo State, Engr. Ife Oyedele of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited.