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APC Convention: Don’t destroy our party, Integrity Group tells Amaechi, El-Rufai

Miffed at the allegations of endorsement of the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, by President Muhammadu Buhari as the consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming national convention, some party men under the umbrella of APC Integrity Group has called on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el- Rufai not to destroy the party with their ambitions.

The group made up of members of the legacy parties – Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA) – accused the minister and the governor of instigating the stories of endorsement of Senator Adamu by the President. According to a statement issued in Abuja by the Coordinator, Malam Dawu Mohammed and Secretary Comrade Chinsom Nwakanma, the issue of endorsement of a candidate by President Muhammadu Buhari is a fluke and should be disregarded. The Integrity Group posited that President Buhari is close to all the candidates and would not adopt any one of them without consulting others.

According to them, the aspiration of securing the presidential and vice presidential tickets of the party through a preferred National Chairman, which the Minister of Transportation and Governor of Kaduna State are pushing for was capable of destroying the party. They, however, called on the legacy parties to rein in and save the party before it goes into oblivion. Similarly, they have called on the national chairmanship candidates, North Central governors and, possibly, the national leadership of the party, to reach a consensus among candidates; and if this failed, to prepare for election during the convention. In line with this, Senator Sani Musa Campaign Organisation on Wednesday rejected the purported endorsement report of Senator Adamu by the President.

The organisation in a statement it issued in Abuja said: “The Campaign Organisation of Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, a leading aspirant for position of the National Chairman of the APC, has urged its teeming supporters across the country to ignore the news making the rounds on the purported endorsement of a fellow aspirant by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, today at the National Assembly.

“This is a blatant misinformation and should be ignored. What turned out to be a group picture of distinguished senators taken shortly after Wednesday’s plenary was misconstrued by mischief makers to depict a tacit endorsement of another aspirant. The campaign organisation notes with disappointment the brazen desperation of the supporters of the aspirant in subjugating their selfish interest at the expense of national interest, party loyalty and the long-term stability of Nigeria’s democracy.

“We urge our supporters to remain calm, focused and law abiding. As reiterated earlier, let us continue to exercise more patience as we await further directives from President Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of our great party.” Another candidate, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha, has also dismissed the endorsement of Senator Adamu. Mustapha in a reaction he gave through his media aide, Dapo Okubanjo, said the race is still open. Okubanjo said: “Mallam Saliu Mustapha is a core party man, so he expects that once a decision is taken on a matter as important as that of a consensus candidate, it will be passed on by the party leadership through official channels. “And until that is done, he believes that the race is still open to all contenders who showed interest in being the next national chairman of the All Progressives Congress.”

In the same vein, another governor has dismissed any endorsement of any candidate by President Buhari. The governor whose name was not mentioned was quoted in a report as saying: “I read reports that governors tried to make Mr President drop former Governor Adamu as the favoured candidate for the office of APC National Chairman.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Is it possible for presidential spokesman to say his boss has no preferred candidate on Monday, and then we the governors will be begging Mr President on Tuesday to drop a non-existent candidate? “To begin with, nothing close to what your people reported happened. If, indeed, President endorsed any candidate, such would have been disclosed during the after-meeting briefing by our chairman, the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu.” The Integrity group in their position paper said: “This would not be the first time that a minister and a governor would be accused of obtaining a false signature from the President through his Personal Assistant (PA).”

 

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