Members of the National Assembly are now divided over the emergence of three aspirants for the national chairmanship of the APC from the federal parliament.
The APC is billed to elect a new National Working Committee headed by the chairman at its national convention scheduled for Saturday.
The three aspirants, who are all members of the Senate, are Abdullahi Adamu, Sani Musa and Tanko Al-Makura.
The senators, who are all from the North-Central geopolitical zone, are contesting against other aspirants in the ruling party, who are not members of the National Assembly.
Adamu and Al-Makura had last week met with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives, with the latter proposing automatic tickets for lawmakers when he becomes the chairman of the party. Musa has yet to meet with the caucus.
Incidentally, Al-Makura and Adamu are former governors of Nasarawa State.
While Al-Makura is representing the Nasarawa Central Senatorial District, Adamu is representing the Nasarawa West Senatorial District at the Senate.
A member of the Senate, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said, “The game plan is to make Abdullahi Adamu the national chairman of the party and Farouk Aliyu, a former House of Representatives member from Jigawa State as the deputy chairman.
“They are working with some people in the Presidency to ensure the emergence of Rotimi Amaechi as the APC presidential candidate. Their plan is clearly against the wishes of the majority of the party members, who believe that a man with his own personal political structure should emerge as the candidate. They have already met with the President and they claimed that Buhari bought into their game plan.”
Adamu had on Friday unveiled a newly renovated edifice as his campaign office at Area 11, Garki area of Abuja, which was attended by lawmakers backing his chairmanship bid.
The attendees included the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege; Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Majority Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; Adamu Aliero and Ali Ndume, among others.
Ndume told journalists that he was supporting Adamu due to the ex-governor’s competence and blunt attitude to social and political issues.
“I am supporting Abdullahi Adamu, because he is the most qualified and courageous among the aspirants. Adamu is somebody who cannot be influenced by money. He is not afraid to say anything in favour of whatever he believes in,” Ndume said.
At the House, it was observed that some lawmakers attended either of the meetings with Adamu and Al-Makura. However, there were those who were at both meetings.
In a related development, some of the aspirants have expressed displeasure over the postponement of the screening of aspirants ahead of the convention.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, the Director-General of the Al-Makura Campaign Troupe, Dominic Alancha, said the party had not informed the aspirants about the screening, which he said was a crucial precursor to the forthcoming convention.
He said “It’s worrisome because as I speak with you, there is no official communication as to when we are coming for screening. The earlier advert was that yesterday (Saturday) was for zonal offices, while today would be for the National Working Committee. And I went there today to confirm whether there would be screening at the screening committee’s secretariat at the NICON Luxury, and nobody was there.
“Even as of 11am, nothing was going on there to show that the screening was going to take place. So, we had to call one or two friends to find out from them, who are now telling us that this screening may not hold until maybe tomorrow or next tomorrow. They are not sure yet.”
The screening of aspirants for zonal party offices earlier slated for Saturday failed to hold as more aspirants were still submitting nomination forms, The PUNCH learnt on Saturday. The exercise was shifted to Sunday.
A PUNCH correspondent at the screening venue observed no activity.
A top party source told one of our correspondents that the Aminu Masari-led national convention subcommittee on screening was not aware of the earlier arrangement, which scheduled the exercise for Saturday and Sunday.
The source noted that to make up for lost time, the subcommittee would be divided into six groups, each to screen aspirants from the six geopolitical zones vying for offices on three levels; National Working Committee, non-national working committee and zonal.
The source stated, “The committee members are currently more than four. They gave the chairman a full list of those who will be on the committee. The committee members will now be divided into six to screen aspirants from each zone.
“Each six will be further divided into three units. Unit ‘A’ will handle the National Working Committee. Unit ‘B’ will handle the non-NWC aspirants and Unit ‘C’ will handle zonal officers so that they can finish their job in one day and present their report to the appeal committee.”