LATEST:National Convention: Buhari hosts APC chairmanship aspirants

The president had earlier met behind closed doors with governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the forthcoming National Convention of the party.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hosted aspirants for the chairmanship position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a dinner at the State House.

The meeting, held behind closed doors, came after an earlier meeting with the party’s governors ahead of the March 26 National Convention of the party.

The meeting, it was learnt, was part of the president’s bid to ensure consensus candidates emerge before the convention.

While details of the meeting with the aspirants remain sketchy, PREMIUM TIMES had reported efforts by the party leadership, including the president to ensure consensus candidates for the party’s top seat.

The governors of the APC, speaking through their chairman, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, told journalists after the Wednesday meeting that they had resolved to back Mr Buhari’s choices for National Working Committee offices.

“We all restated our commitment to working together to ensure that the convention takes place on March 26, 2022, and then we agreed to support all the decisions that were taken by the Caretaker Committee, both acting as a working committee and acting with the donated powers given to it by the National Executive Committee.

“Indeed, the Chairman of the Caretaker, upon his return, also appreciated what the Caretaker Committee did and the decisions that were taken in his absence.

“Today we all briefed Mr President on that, and our support for Mr President’s endorsement of the candidate for the National Chairman of the party,” Mr Bagudu told journalists.

With no hint of backing down soon, seven aspirants have obtained forms to contest for the APC National Chairmanship position after the party announced to have zoned the seat to the North-central.

The aspirants who attended the late-night meeting with Mr Buhari on Wednesday include Abdullahi Adamu, Tanko Al-Makura, George Akume, Abdul’aziz Yari, Saliu Mustapha, Sani Musa, and Muhammed Eksu.

All the above candidates except for Mr Yari who defied the zoning arrangement to purchase the N20 million form for the office, hailed from states with the North-central geo-political zone.

A former governor of Borno State, Ali-Modu Sheriff, who stepped down from the race a few days was also at the meeting attended by the interim National Chairman of the party, Mala Buni, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
Refund aspirants that embrace consensus candidates – Buhari tells govs

In his push for consensus candidates ahead of Saturday’s convention, Mr Buhari has ordered APC governors to refund any of the aspirants willing to step down for consensus candidates.

Each of the aspirants paid N20 million for the expression of interest form and nomination form.

Mr Buhari issued 24 hours to the governors to produce a unity list for consensus candidates into the NWC seats ahead of the convention.

“I have already given my own input and other recommendations on the way forward in both my February 25, 2022 meeting with the Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee and my March 13, 2022 letter to the chairman of the APC Governors Forum.

“Your Excellences, with the convention only two days away I implore you to come together and sort out all the remaining party positions so that within the next 24 hours we can arrive at a unity list which we can take to the convention.

“Finally all those who have bought forms indicating interest and have been dropped should have their money refunded without delay,” Mr Buhari reportedly said.

In an exclusive report published by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday morning, not less than 169 persons have obtained nomination forms to contest for various positions in the party.

Many of the positions are keenly contested as the party takes in over N700 million from sales of forms.

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