BusinessDay

Anxiety as Adamu says APC yet to zone presidential ticket

Fresh anxiety is brewing in the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, says the party is yet to zone its 2023 presidential ticket to any region.

Speaking to State House journalists at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja on Friday, after presenting the Ekiti APC gubernatorial candidate, Abiodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Adamu said the decision on which part of the country should produce the ruling party’s presidential candidate was beyond him.

“I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot pre-empt what the party decision will be.”

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Adamu’s statement is coming after the party had earlier zoned national offices between North and South, which led to his emergence as the national chairman. He is from the North Central.

Adamu’s position aligns with Nasir el-Rufai’s, the governor of Kaduna State, that the party had not decided on zoning the presidential ticket.

Speaking on the N100 million for the APC presidential nomination form, Adamu said the party has no regrets over the cost of nomination forms for candidates seeking elective positions under the party.

He described the decision as part of a deliberate plan to discourage those that have no chance of winning elections to sponsor individuals to play the role of spoilers.

He added that “the cost also had to be exorbitant because of the need to raise sufficient funds to successfully prosecute coming elections”

“On the issue of cost, yeah, I’ve been listening with rapt attention to the hues and cries from our lovers and from our adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever. We did some homework, we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through the presidential campaign, go through the election for the president. We know what it takes.

“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contests, but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheaply by the roadside, and assert what they call their rights and create problems for our party.

“We’re also aware that some parties that have no chance whatsoever to win the presidential election in Nigeria, will sponsor people into parties that have no prospects for winning the election, to create problems for us, to divert our attention.

“Over and above that, yes, we are the ruling party. Yes, we need to set examples in what we do, but I ask you, I don’t know which part of the country you come from, if your traditional ruler dies today (God forbids), contestants to that office will go for more than N100 million. It’s no news.

“When I contested for the Senate, all I paid was a token of N5 million, N10 million, including the expression. When my colleague wanted to be chairman of the party, in the days of Adams Oshimhole, it took him N500,000. Today, for me, just as an example, to contest the national chairman of our party, I had to pay N20 million to contest.

“Alright, and even the enormity of work that has to be done, and this work will be done with money. We don’t want to continue going begging.

“So, I want to say that we’re able to mobilise sufficient funds to support our efforts to win elections. Some protests may be well founded, I have no quarrel with that, but the propensity of this that people just assume it’s the ruling party.’

“I will not quarrel with that. Every one of us has the right to express himself, and I’m in full support of these obligations, but we wear the shoes for our party and we know where it pinches us the most one.”

While receiving the Ekiti candidate, in the gubernatorial election, scheduled for June 18, 2022, President Buhari noted that Oyebanji had served in many capacities, including as chief of staff, commissioner, and secretary to the state government.

He said being governor will just be continuity of service and wished him “the best of luck.”

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