• Buhari didn’t impose party chairman, Orji Kalu insists.
• Yahaya Bello flays rotational presidency, okays competence
• PDP zoning c’ttee submits report, awaits NEC review
• How I contested guber seat four times before victory, by Atiku
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will, today, meet with All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House of Representatives to officially inform them of his decision to contest the presidency.
This was contained in a letter he wrote to the chamber, read by Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase.
The Vice President had, yesterday, invited members of the APC Senate caucus to an iftar dinner, held at Aguda House, Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
THIS was as APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, formerly tendered his resignation letter as the senator representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District.
Also, the newly elected Deputy National Chairman (North), Abubakar Kyari, also resigned as the lawmaker representing Borno North District.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read their letters during plenary.
Adamu, until his election, chaired the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. Kyari, on the other hand, was chairman of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
MEANWHLE, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, countered allegations that President Muhammadu Buhari imposed Adamu under the guise of consensus.
Kalu told journalists: “The President, in his wisdom, was able to solve the problem. Do you know how much money was saved for the pockets of aspirants by that consensus?
“The consensus was not just taken in the President’s bedroom. The President consulted the governors. He consulted the leadership of the National Assembly and other stakeholders of the party. So, I don’t see any other thing that can be better than that.”
FURTHER, an APC presidential aspirant and Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, yesterday, reiterated his opposition to rotational presidency.
Bello, who spoke during an interactive session with reporters in Abuja, maintained that Nigerians would be denied purposeful leadership if the principle of power rotation is adhered to ahead of the 2023 polls.
Represented by the chairman (media and publicity) of his campaign council, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, Bello said it behoves the electorate to place the country’s interest above ethnic and religious sentiments.
He said: “Assuming you are taken to a hospital and they say you need to be operated upon. You are not going to ask the admin secretary whether the person who is supposed to treat you is Hausa or from a particular ethnic group. You would rather ask for a competent medical doctor.
“So, when we use sentiment to reduce the race for the presidency to where he or she comes from, it doesn’t help the country. It doesn’t help Nigerians.”
ALSO, one week after concluding work on zoning of the presidency and other key positions, the Samuel Ortom-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) committee on zoning submitted its report to the leadership of the party, yesterday.
The panel, last week, announced it had reached a unanimous decision on zoning and would submit its report to the National Executive Committee (NEC), which it said has power to release the report.
Ortom was absent at the brief ceremony where the report was submitted. However, Deputy Chairman and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said he sent apologies.
PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who received the report, in the company of members of the National Working Committee (NWC), maintained that the NWC was only receiving the report on behalf of NEC, which would deliberate on it later.
IN a related development, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said, yesterday, that he contested governorship position four times before he finally won in 1999.
He made the revelation in Abuja, while interacting with leaders of his support groups from across the country
Atiku said he was delighted that more young people are participating in politics today. He said it was his dream to mentor the young generation and hand over his political structure to them.
He said: “It is encouraging that, these days, I see many young people come to me, declaring intentions to run for various political positions: some, state Assemblies; some, National Assembly, and even some aspiring to be governors.
“The beautiful thing is that this shows that our democracy is being strengthened. I also started early, like many of you. I started in my late 30s. During our time, our direction was to fight the military and return the country to civil rule.
“In joining politics, you have to be focused, principled and courageous. For example, I contested the governorship position four times before I was finally elected. That is politics for you. You have to be determined and be courageous.”
Atiku expressed gratitude to leaders of the support groups for the roles they played during the 2018-19 election and commended them for their discipline and determination to be better organised than they were at the last outing.
He said: “That we are more organised now is a reflection of the fact that we are now more experienced. And with experience comes more knowledge. What that means is that, if there was any mistake we made last time, we are in a better position to avoid such mistake now.”