Adamu speaks on consensus option for APC presidential pick

AHEAD of its presidential convention scheduled to hold on Sunday and Monday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) may have foreclosed composition of screening committee for its 28 presidential aspirants. 

The national chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this on Wednesday, while speaking with select Hausa service media organisations. 

Adamu’s disclosure confirmed the insinuation that the APC NWC has decided not to conduct screening of the aspirants. 

The party has twice shelved the composition and inauguration of screening and appeal panels for presidential aspirants. 

Adamu also dropped the hint that the most credible aspirants could be pronounced as the consensus candidate after a rigorous evaluation. 

Asked by newsmen if the presidential aspirant would emerge the same manner he was pronounced as consensus candidate for the office of national chairman, he said, “There is no truth in that because the chairmanship seat is not the same as that of the presidency of the country. You can’t even compare the two. That question does not arise. 

“However, the party has laid down its rules and regulations for the aspirants. We would scrutinise all of them based on our guidelines to be sure we pick the right candidate for the party.” 

By virtue of Section 84(9) of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), “A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate.” 

Out of the 28 aspirants that actually picked the expression of interest and nomination forms, five withdrew, leaving the ticket open to 23. 

The APC national chairman justified the high number of aspirants on the fact that the APC is the ruling party in the country. 

“You don’t know the reason? It’s because that is where those that matter in the country are. It didn’t start today. We are the government in power today. In spite of all the insults, the APC has advantages far ahead of other parties. Today, the APC is the biggest party in Nigeria. 

“It’s natural that the APC will attract Nigerians than any other party. This is where it is happening. Any right-thinking politician would naturally gravitate towards the APC. 

“Of course, we have our problems but today, we are the cynosure of all Nigerians and I am hopeful, God willing, we will retain power at the general election.” Asked for the position of the party on zoning, the APC national chairman said it would be discussed after the screening of aspirants.

“We have not produced our candidate for the presidency yet. We have to screen the aspirants to know the way forward. We have aspirants from across the country in the race. We will take the decision when we get there.” 

The former Nasarawa State governor dismissed insinuation that the high number of aspirants was instigated to create confusion and ensure tenure extension for President Muhammadu Buhari. 

“You can’t stop our party stalwarts from contesting election or aspiring for the presidency. It is their rights and we are happy for them. There is nothing wrong for anybody aspiring for the exalted seat of the presidency. 

“We have 28 aspirants for the presidential ticket and everybody knows that all of them cannot get the ticket. If it’s God wish, they all can even be president of the country one after the other. Ours is to ensure justice in the choice of who emerges candidate of the party. That does not mean we are perfect. But we pray we do the right thing.”

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