Ahead of the March 26 National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), all the seven chairmanship aspirants yesterday submitted their forms ahead of today’s screening.
The chairmanship aspirants that have submitted their forms are: Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, Senator George Akume, Senator Sani Musa, former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, Mallam Salihu Mustapha and Muhammed Etsu, 37-year-old chairmanship aspirant.
The sale of forms for the various National Working Committee (NWC) of the party started on Tuesdays and ended yesterday.
Meanwhile, a frontline chairmanship aspirant and the Senator representing Niger East, Senator Sani Musa, has said that with 43 million members, the party would not beg anybody for money under his leadership.
Musa stated this yesterday in Abuja after submitting his chairmanship form at the party secretariat.
He said he was looking forward to the convention which would usher in a new beginning and transitional change in the APC.
Musa was of the opinion that the ruling party needed a leadership that would bring direction, build consensus between all dividing organs.
He stated: “The executive governors are there to support the party and the party is there to work with the governor. We want to see a party that will become an institution in Africa. APC is the largest party and all we need to do is to put the structure in place. That is, the political parties need to be very strong.
“We have a democracy in this country that has a very strong foundation, but what we are lacking is the leadership that will be able to transform our party structure to what it should be. A platform to groom leaders. That is what I’m bringing new to APC.
“And APC will not be dependent on anybody to fund it. With 43 million membership, we have no business going cap in hand to beg anybody for money. That is what I’m bringing to APC.”
Asked why he was still in the race despite the purported endorsement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu by President Muhammadu Buhari, Musa wondered why the party was selling forms to them if Adamu had been endorsed.
He added: “Why did the party sell forms to us? You sold forms to us. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s never been anybody that officially contacted me or any other aspirants. Nobody! And the spokesperson to Mr. President, Femi Adesina had said that there was no endorsement.”
Musa noted that APC needs a vibrant leadership that will change the status quo.
According to him, “the endorsement I want is your endorsement. I want the endorsement of 43 million APC members. That is what I need.”
Also, while addressing journalists after submitting his form, Mustapha said the contest wasn’t about titles but to add value.
He said, “For me, this contest is not about titles, it is about coming to add value. We want to add value in so many areas”
“First and foremost we want to make sure we work as a team, guarantee a level playing ground.”
Mustapha assured that under his leadership, there would be internal democracy and discipline within the party.
He noted that he would make sure that in every executive position, a woman is given a deputy, stressing that he would ensure that both women and youths are empowered in certain positions within the party.
Meanwhile, a northern youth group within the South-south and South-east, under the aegis of Arewa Youth South-south/South-east Support Group, yesterday endorsed the candidature of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura for the national chairmanship position of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The endorsement of Al-Makura by the youth group, which took place in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, was contained in a statement issued by the group’s spokesman, Alhaji Anas Yero.
They insisted in the statement that Senator Al-Makura is the most competent, reliable and credible candidate suitable for the national chairman of the APC.
“Al-Makura’s vast political sagacity and experiences have kept him apart from other aspirants with his energetic, digital and flexible personality, he understands the dynamics of the present reality of Nigerian politics. His track records for decades and political credentials speak for his eligibility for the job.
“However, we are aware that since the formation of APC, only ACN and ANPP have produced the national chairman. From the interim chairman Tom Ikimi to Chief Bisi Akande of ACN, to Cheif Oyegun of ANPP back to Adams Oshohmole of ACN, and to Mai Mala Buni of ANPP.
“Among the three major political parties that formed the APC only the CPC is yet to produce a national chairman. We strongly believe now is the time for a national chairman from CPC and the most suitable person is Al-Makura, for even President Muhammad Buhari attested that Nasarawa State is his political laboratory courtesy of Senator Al-Makura.
The group maintained that there “was need for the ruling APC to consider a digital leadership, and not aged persons with analog ideas in the present democratic dispensation.”
According to the group, APC needed a leader who can tour the entire 36 states, including the FCT, in the upcoming 2023 general elections, which it said was optimistic that Al-Makura is the right man for the job “full of life, strength and diplomatic prowess to unite and resolve the internal interests ahead of 2023.”
“Finally, it will be wrong to give our party to an aged, analog individual, or one with a political godfather from the opposition, who still romance or can romance with the opposition thus subconsciously selling out the party. Or any waiting for a consensus candidate.”
Meanwhile, APC Youth Groups as birthday anniversary gift jointly obtained a nomination form for the youth representative in the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mr. Ismaeel Ahmed, to contest the position of National Organising Secretary.
The groups said they were presenting the form for Ahmed, who is also the Special Assistant to President Buhari on Social Investment to commemorate his 42nd birthday anniversary yesterday.
The groups which include; APC Rebirth, APC National Youth Movement and APC Youths Forum, among others, said the ruling party had zoned the position of National Organising Secretary to North-west where Ahmed hails from.
Speaking on behalf his group, the Convener of the APC Rebirth, Aliu Audu, said: “It’s a good thing that we have decided to do this on his birthday and part of the things we have yearned for over the time is for competent people occupy critical positions and also to ask for inclusion of young people who are in the majority of party membership and there’s no other person to stand with for us or standby than Ismail Ahmed, who single handedly has given more young people the platform to showcase what they can do and how they can add value to growing the party.”
Also, the chairman of APC Youth Forum, Ife Adebayo said Ahmed has contributed much to the growth of APC, hence he should be considered.
According to him, “We believe very strongly that he has contributed to this party and as young people we believe that based on his contribution to the party he’s fit and able to organise this party and put the party on the right footings working with other members of the NWC before the general elections in 2023.”