• Friday, July 19, 2024
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How Ganduje emerged APC’s national chairman

Court adjourns Ganduje’s suspension case till May 27

Former Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje and Bashiru Ajibola yesterday, emerged as new National Chairman and Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), respectively, amidst high-wire political intrigues, that produced another Muslim-Muslim leadership at the top echelon of the party.

Ganduje’s emergence was perfected at the National Caucus meeting which took place on Wednesday night at the Presidential Villa, while the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party simply endorsed the caucus recommendations at their meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

Speaking at the NEC meeting, President Bola Tinubu urged the leadership of the party, particularly the elected officials, to be steadfastly committed to good governance which will re-engineer the economic and political landscape of the nation to address the needs of the poor.
The President pledged his administration’s continued efforts to ensure that all government programmes benefit and uplift the masses of the country rather than bring more pain.

The President, who addressed the NEC meeting for the first time since his electoral victory in February, emphasized that winning the election was just the beginning of a longer progressive journey, noting that responsive and accountable governance is a separate challenge that requires continuous effort.

“We are in the process of establishing fully a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. It is in my time that the subsidy has been removed, and it is now upon us to satisfy the yearnings of the poor in a larger, restructured economy,” President Tinubu said.

He urged party members to promote unity, stability, and camaraderie forged in common purpose among themselves, reiterating that nurturing the party should start from the grassroots level.

President Tinubu also called on the party faithful to train its sights squarely on development and prosperity for the country, adding that his administration is poised to build international trade partnerships across sectors that will benefit, not just the national coffers, but the wallets and accounts of the Nigerian people.

On the general acceptance of the outcome of the presidential election, the President defended the legitimacy of the election and echoed his earlier stated position that those who do not accept the outcome of a free and fair election do not deserve the joy of victory.

”We have worked hard, and we have received the trophy. Winning an election is the first part of the process. What is next is good governance and quality service delivery. We must promote unity, peace, and love among all organs of the party.

”You are the makers and drivers of the party. When we have all passengers inside the bus, the driver must not fall asleep. The brake must also work well. Party loyalty must exist.

”As I always say, those who cannot accept the result of a free and fair election do not deserve the joy of victory,” he said.

On the main agenda of the NEC meeting, which appointed new External Auditors to audit party accounts and filled the vacant offices of National Chairman and National Secretary, the President urged the NEC of the party to devolve some of its powers to the National Working Committee (NWC) to fill other vacancies in the party.

This request was a sequel to a motion moved by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and seconded by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, who doubles as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).

The President noted that during the last NEC meeting of April 20, 2022, the NEC of the party had ceded some of its powers to NWC for smooth party operations and he thanked them for effectively utilising that mandate.

In his welcome address, the Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kyari said the ruling party was conscious of the new challenges facing it as the majority party at the sub-national level and in the National Assembly.

Paying tribute to the founding members of the party, Kyari said the party had achieved significant milestones that have made a positive impact on Nigerians since its establishment ten years ago.

He congratulated the President, the Vice President and all elected party members on their election victory, describing the recent election of the Nigerian leader to the ECOWAS Chairmanship as a foreign policy triumph for Nigeria.

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‘‘The nation is happy with you for your bold and courageous decisions,’’ he told the President, adding that the policies the administration has pursued in the last two months have laid a solid foundation for the growth and development of Nigeria,” he said.

He promised that the party would continue to stand with President Tinubu, “no matter the complexities of the challenges ahead.”

Following their election, Ganduje and Basiru were subsequently sworn into office immediately, in the presence of President Bola Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, House Speaker Tajudeen Abbas who were among the many members of the party at the NEC meeting.

Ganduje replaces former Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu, while Basiru replaces Iyiola Omisore.

Adamu and Omisore were forced to resign two weeks ago following the dissatisfaction of the presidency and Tinubu loyalists with their positions on some matters concerning the party.

In his acceptance speech after his inauguration, Ganduje promised to ensure internal democracy within the party while sustaining and expanding the number of elected positions secured by the party in the last general elections.

He also pledged to evolve a scientific database of registered members of the party and manage conflicts quickly and effectively.

“Our party must remain rooted among the people, must demonstrate a willingness to serve and make sacrifices, and must be willing to acknowledge and address our weaknesses”, Ganduje said while promising that the party will have the masses as its focus under his leadership.

He urged party faithful in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa to close ranks ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections this year.

Ganduje finally pledged to administer the party with integrity and transparency.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, condemned what he termed blackmail against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and incitement of Nigerians against the APC by opposition parties using false narratives and reports.

Uzodinma’s motion for a vote of confidence on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was overwhelmingly adopted by the NEC meeting.