DECISION makers in governing All Progressives Congress (APC) may have agreed on a zoning arrangement for the big six positions in party and government at national level, Sunday Tribune has learnt.
A dependable party source in Abuja said after initial hiccups, the South-West is favoured to produce the next presidential standard-bearer of the party. The North-East is said to have been listed for the running mate ticket.
The Senate Presidency, said the source, is billed to return to the South-East, while the North-West is scheduled for the Speakership slot.
The arrangement mirrors what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the ruling party in 1999 presented as a governance outlook with Olusegun Obasanjo from the South-West as president. His deputy then, Atiku Abubakar, is from Adamawa in North-East.
Now-late Evan Enwerem, the first Senate President, was from the South East. The disgraced first Speaker, Salisu Buhari, is from Kano, North-West.
Though Enwerem and Buhari were booted out of office for forgery, the slots remained in the two zones for the eight years Obasanjo and SouthWest kept the presidency. The governing party also seems to have kept faith with the PDP’s old blueprint in zoning its national chairmanship position to the North-Central.
National leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, has also mentioned his preference for former Nasarawa State governor and serving Senator, Adamu Abdullahi for the party’s top job. During eight years of Obasanjo, PDP produced four national chairmen from the North-Central in Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbeh and Colonel Ahmadu Ali (rtd).
The position of national secretary of APC has also been moved to South-South. Following President Buhari’s endorsement of Adamu, leaders of the party in other zones reportedly engaged in a hide-and-seek over the national scribe slot.
Party bigwigs seeking higher government positions were said to have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure their geopolitical zones didn’t get the top party office, in order not to have their ambitions derailed.
Efforts to earlier zone the office to South-West reportedly met with stiff resistance, following rumours that its acceptance would affect the consideration of the zone for the presidency. South-East also tipped for the office, at a point, eventually lost it to strong resistance from individuals from the zone seeking higher party and government positions.
South-East eventually landed the Deputy National Chairman (South) slot, for which President Buhari is reportedly backing former Senate President, Ken Nnamani. North-West major stakeholders also allegedly worked against having the national scribe position zoned to them, considering the earlier rumour some individuals from the zone were eyeing the Presidency after eight years of President Buhari from the zone.
The number four position in government was eventually yielded to the president’s zone.
Meanwhile, despite the official recognition granted factions of the party in many state chapters being rocked by leadership crisis, those antagonising the recognised factions are not mellowing.
In Lagos, Fouad Oki, the factional chairman of the state chapter, has filed a suit to sack the Senator Bola Tinubu-backed executive.
When the matter came up on Thursday, March 3, 2021 before a Federal High Court in Abuja, parties were directed by Justice Okorowo to show appearance on March 16.
In the originating summons of Fouad Oki V APC and 2 Ors, the plaintiff joined Chief Adebayo Adelabu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as co-defendants. Adelabu, APC’s governorship candidate in Oyo State in 2019, was the chairman of the electoral body that conducted the contentious state congress being challenged by Oki.