APC convention: South-West governors tighten noose around Buhari’s candidates

•Intense battle for youth leader as northern supporters of Israel, Dada flex muscles

AS the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares for the conduct of its convention, governors and stakeholders of the party in the SouthWest have concluded the process of micro-zoning of national and zonal offices zoned to the region. 

A decision was taken on Monday night in Abuja. Sources revealed that it was a deft move to checkmate the onslaught of a power bloc in the party, the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), to impose members of that particular tendency on the South-West as its representatives. 

Investigation revealed that both Mr Ife Oyedele and former Minister of Communications, Bayo Shittu, both of the CPC power bloc, have not given up on their aspiration for the office of national secretary. 

Oyedele, according to sources, has people in the Presidency goading him on in the race. 

The stakeholders tactically zoned the office of the national secretary of the party out of Ondo State as the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has since presented former APC chairman in the state, Isaacs Kekemeke, as national vice chairman, SouthWest, to the leaders in the region. 

The office of national secretary was zoned to Osun State, with the governors conceding to Tinubu’s favoured choice, Iyiola Omisore. 

Aside picking the national secretary, Lagos is poised to produce national youth leader in person of Dayo Israel, as well as the zonal organising scretary. 

In the ‘unity list’ from the zone sighted by Nigerian Tribune, Oyo State will produce South-West zonal woman leader and zonal special leader; deputy national auditor microzoned to Ogun State, which will equally produce the SouthWest zonal secretary. 

With the micro-zoning, Rinsola Abiola, might have lost out in the race for national youth leader. South-West zonal youth leader will emerge from Ekiti State which will also produce the national ex-officio member. 


In the ongoing conciliatory move in the zone, Senator Omisore was asked to reach out to former Osun State governor, Bisi Akande and seek his support and blessing for his aspiration. There was no love lost between the duo after their stewardship as governor and deputy governor of Osun State under the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD). 

The micro-zoning of offices by the leaders in South-West has, however, created more tension over the position of national youth leader. At a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, a forum of aspirants from the North, under the platform, Northern APC Aspirants Forum and Stakeholders, rejected Israel as favourite for the office of national youth leader. 

Spokesman of the group, Saminu Musa J.T Dazara, said the aspirants from the North had already endorsed Olusegun Dada for the office. 

Dada is also from Lagos State as Israel. Dazara claimed their adopted candidate has the capacity for the job and appealed to the APC caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni not to accept Israel for the office. 

They also appealed to the national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, to have a rethink on the choice of Israel. 

The northern forum said, “Olusegun Dada is resultdriven, people-focused, transparent and accountable. He is the only aspirant that has a national outlook and can galvanise support for the party in the consequential 2023 elections. 

“He has been loyal since the formation of the party and he is still loyal. On this note, we also appeal to the leaders of APC in South West and all critical APC leaders in Lagos State to adopt Dada as the most acceptable aspirant from the state for the interest of APC youth worldwide and the sustainability of President Buhari’s legacies beyond 2023.” 

But countering this position, the APC Youths from the North-West threw their weight behind Israel for the post of youth leader. Speaking at a news conference at Arewa House, Kaduna, on Tuesday, spokesman for the youth, Bello Shehu Tijjani, said having followed Israel’s sterling qualities, they are endorsing him as the national youth leader. 

“He [Israel] has all it takes to contest for the position and bring new changes for youth development in APC and Nigeria at large. 

“We want to go on record as endorsing Honourable Dayo Israel for the office of national youth leader of our great party, APC. 

“Dayo Israel was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (under age of 35) as part of the 2017 celebration of the UN Decade for people of Africa Descent at the One UN Plaza in New York. Dayo has twice been recognised, in 2016 and 2017, as one of 50 UK’s brightest young leaders. 

“He was also recognised as one of the top 25 Promising Nigerian Youths under 35 to Serve Nigeria in 2016 and as one of Africa’s top 30 most inspirational young people of 2013. 

“He will bring excellent credentials and administrative expertise to the position of APC national youth leader,” Tijjanni said.

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