Barely 90 days to the likely date for the national convention of the All Progressives Congress, the hushed battle for control of the party’s structure at the national level is beginning to take shape, Saturday PUNCH, gathered in Abuja on Friday.
The pioneer Interim APC National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, was a leading figure in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, his successor Chief John Odigie-Oyegun started off in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (with the return of democracy in 1999) before moving over to the defunct ACN.
Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who is also of the ACN bloc, took over from Odigie-Oyegun, as national chairman. The current chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, also has an ANPP background.
On Friday, a former Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the ACN, Sunny Moniedafe, declared interest in taking over from Mai Mala Buni.
Moneidafe told the media that his interest in the race was born out of the need to reposition the party for greater performance and service delivery.
He said, “With just about 90 days to our national convention, I don’t think it is too early to start my campaign. With me as national chairman by God’s grace our party will ensure that campaign promises are not mere rhetoric. I will ensure respect for all arms of government. A situation where the National Assembly will invite ministers and they will refuse to go is not right.
“We will also ensure that undue interference in the process of the section of candidates, a situation which cost us four states in 2019 does not repeat itself.”
In response to a question on the issue of zoning, he said, “My personal opinion is that the next President of Nigeria should come from the south. It could be the South East, South West of the South South. I know that you have to negotiate to get it, you cannot intimidate, blackmail or threaten people.”
Moneidafe, who described himself as a true Nigerian, said he was born by a Delta father in Adamawa State where he spent most of his formative years before moving to Abuja, where he has been for over two decades.
However, the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, who is leading the campaign for his predecessor, Senator Tanko Al-Almakura, is appealing to party members to give the CPC bloc in the APC a chance to lead the party.
He has told whoever cared to listen that it would be in the interest of justice and equity for Al-Makura who is originally from the CPC bloc to be given a chance to provide leadership for the APC.
In one of his campaign stops in Nasarawa, Sule said, “Two of the legacy parties; ACN and ANPP each produced two national chairmen of the APC.
“The only legacy party that is yet to produce the national chairman is the CPC. Once the CPC is allowed to produce the next chairman of the APC during its forthcoming national convention, it’s only fair to consider Nasarawa State.”