The All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to fill the vacant positions in the National Working Committee (NWC), following nominations from zonal and state chapters.
The new officers awaiting ratification by the National Executive Committee (NEC) are former Cross River State Commissioner for Local Government, Dr. Stella Odey-Ekpo (Women Leader); Borno State APC Chairman Ali Dalori (Deputy National Chairman, North); former Nasarawa State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Prof. Abdulkarim Kana (Legal Adviser), former Abia,State House of Assembly Speaker Martins Azubuike (Welfare Officer), and former Special Adviser on Water Resources to Kogi State Governor, Muritala Ajaka (Deputy National Publicity Secretary).
The decision to fill the positions is in line with the directive of the National Executive Committee (NEC), it was learnt yesterday.
Last week, former Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has assumed office as national chairman and Senator Ajibola Basiru as national secretary, after their predecessors-Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Iyiola Omisore-resigned.
Apart from the Vice Chairman (Northwest), Saliu Lukman, and Legal Adviser, Ahmad El-Marzup, who also resigned, two NWC members-Senator Abubakar Kyari and Dr. Beta Edu-were also nominated as ministers by President Bola Tinubu while a member passed on.
A party source said following the ceding of powers by the NEC to the NWC at its August 3 meeting its directive to the administrative organ to fill the vacant positions, the States Executive Committee that produced the former officers nominated candidates for the vacancies, in line with the directive.
According to the source, the positions were zoned before the April 2022 National Convention, based on Article 31.5 of the APC Constitution, which spells out the procedures.
Article 31.5(i) reads: “In case of a National/Zonal Officer, the State Executive Committee shall propose a replacement to the State Congress and Zonal Executive Committee for endorsement. Thereafter, the name shall be sent to the National Working Committee, which shall forward sane to the National Executive Committee for approval”
Sources said the Borno State chapter and the Northeast Executive Committee consequently elected Dalori, as Deputy National Chairman (North), to replace Kyari, whose ministerial appointment has been ratified by the Senate.
It was also gathered that Cross Rivers State chapter has forwarded the name of Odey-Ekpo to replace Edu as National Women Leader.
With the position of the National Legal Adviser now zoned to the North Central, it was gathered that after wide consultations with the six states in the region, Nasarawa State was favoured to nominate a replacement to El-Marzuq, who resigned last week.
Also, Azubuike will replace the National Welfare Secretary Friday Nwosu, a lawyer, who died in March.
The new National Publicity Secretary, Ajaka, had resigned from APC to contest for governor on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) before he retraced his steps.
However, the source said the Northwest is yet to nominate a replacement for Lukman.
A member of NWC, who spoke in confidence, confirmed that the National Secretariat of the party has received the nominations.
He said: “Since NEC directed NWC to fill the remaining vacant six positions after the emergence of the new National Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and Senator Ajibola Basiru as National Secretary, concerned state chapters and zones have been forwarding names for the new officers to fill the vacant positions.
“As of today (Wednesday), names for the replacement of five of the six vacant positions have been sent to the party for consideration and approval of NWC. It is hoped that the committee (NWC) will soon unveil the names of those that will fill the vacant positions very soon.”