Transparency and Integrity


APC CONVENTION : Anxiety Hits APC Governors As Buhari Cancels Meeting


President Buhari Cancels Meeting With APC Governors On Proposed Convention, Gives No Reason.

..... "We Must Have Our Convention" - Uzodinma 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday put off a meeting with governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ostensibly scheduled to discuss matters concerning the upcoming convention of the party. 

Several of the state chief executives had arrived at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, only to learn that the meeting would no longer take place. No official reason was given for the cancellation but the president’s activities for the day had been scheduled to end earlier than usual, as he was meant to depart for Belgium for Europe-African Union Summit taking place in the country.

It is not clear whether the cancellation was for time constraints and when the meeting may be rescheduled. 

The president is scheduled to return from Europe on Saturday. Some of the governors sighted in the villa included the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong; Ben Ayade (Cross River), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Hope Uzodimma (Imo) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi).

Also sighted were Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase. Both Uzodimma and Bello were, however, able to have separate private audiences with the president on matters concerning their individual states. Fielding questions from correspondents after his meeting with the president, Uzodimma said there is nothing wrong if the APC decides to shift its convention from the February 26 scheduled date. 

“What is important is that we must have our convention. We have said it is 26th. If anything, for any reason tomorrow, it is not doable in the opinion of the party, we will move. But that does not mean that there is any intention to move. 

“We shouldn’t worry about little issues. I think our focus and attention should be towards having a workable democracy in Nigeria, like we have shown, supporting government policies and programmes and then being patriotic. 

“So, I’m confident that our party, contrary to the expectations in some quarters, will be stronger and stronger as we make progress and, of course, in the nearest future, I’m very confident that APC will still be in power.”

Also answering questions from correspondents after his meeting with President Buhari, Governor Bello stressed the need for the North-Central to produce the successor to President Buhari, as he noted that the region is the most marginalised in the country. 

While reacting to the insistence by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, an Igbo apex sociocultural organisation, that zoning the presidency to the South-East was necessary for national unity, Bello pointed out that the North-Central has never produced the president or vice president of the country. He argued that it is therefore proper for the region to be given the opportunity in 2023. 

The Kogi governor stated: “Well, if you’re talking of South-East, then you will equally talk of North-Central, not only since 1999, but since 1960.

“So, put the situation of South-East and that of NorthCentral side by side, who is more disadvantaged in terms of the position of presidency, both presidents and vice presidents? 

“So, put both sides together and do justice. And whichever way you look at it, I’m eminently qualified.” 

Bello, who is nursing presidential ambition, said he did not need to announce whether he had informed President Buhari of his plans or not, but noted that he will officially declare for the race in the next few weeks. 

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