Following Wednesday’s session of the All Progressives Congress national caucus, attention has shifted to today’s meeting of the National Executive Committee where the perennial crisis rocking the APC and the nomination of former Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and Spokesperson for the ninth Senate, Senator Ajibola Basiru, will be on the front burner.
Aside from President Bola Tinubu, other heavyweight APC chieftains expected are former President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; Vice President Kashim Shettima, APC governors, former Senate president, Ahmad Lawan and ex-Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and members of the National Working Committee.
The NEC meeting is scheduled to hold at 11.00 am at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton in Abuja
But as of Wednesday night, there are indications that the presence of the president and the party bigwigs may attract a heavy retinue of security agents and convoys.
Efforts to get the reaction of the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, proved abortive.
But the APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, believed the party leadership is keenly looking forward to the NEC meeting.
Ibrahim declined to speak elaborately on how the NEC plans to ratify the choice of Ganduje and Basiru.
He said, “Ganduje is a bonafide member of the APC and he is eligible to contest for the chairmanship of the party, So is Basiru. They are all members of the party who have the legitimate rights to aspire to various political positions that they want to.
“It is however the party and the NEC that will decide whether they are the only candidates for these offices or there are other others. And if there are other interested candidates, every issue will be look at on its merit and the party will take a decision that it deems fit.”
Earlier, a reliable source at the presidency had told our correspondent that the NEC meeting will serve as an avenue to discuss the lingering crisis rocking the party leadership and possibly okay the nomination of Ganduje and Basiru as national chairman and secretary respectively.
“The agenda is out. But there is nothing basic in it. We are only going to be looking at how to set up some of those committees and organs that Lukman raised before he resigned. And, of course, some shenanigans will be put up to officially announce the new acting chairman and secretary
“It is just to announce that these people are now in charge, We were told that the NEC can work in place of a convention. They are the ultimate decision maker. If they confirm them (Ganduje), there may be no need for any convention again. But regarding the other vacant positions of welfare officer, deputy national publicity secretary, and Vice Chairman for North-West left by Lukman, it is hoped that they will give the NWC the power to fill them. That way, they will avoid budgeting again for another mini-convention,” he said.
In a related development, a chieftain of the APC, Abdul Onusi, has backed the choice of former Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, to emerge as national chairman of the party, saying the move is a reward for his hard work.
Onusi also urged Tinubu to consider rewarding some of his former presidential campaign coordinators, especially Dr Abubakar Gamji and James Faleke, with federal appointments.
The choice of Ganduje as the preferred choice of the president and the APC governors has generated mixed feelings among party faithful and members of the ruling party.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Onusi stressed that the contribution of party loyalists like Ganduje and Gamji deserves reward.
He said, “Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje has a wealth of experience. He is a party man and I think his choice by the leadership of the party at that level is not out of place because he has sacrificed and worked so much for the party.
“That’s exactly what we are asking. People like Dr. Abubakar Gamji and Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council, Hon. James Faleke, who worked so hard, should be compensated. Judging from the performance of Abdullahi Adamu, we need a more experienced person to carry on from where he stopped.
“Gamji, on the other hand, was in the heart of the Renewed Hope campaign. As chairman of the Tinubu Support Group in Kogi state, he canvassed vigorously for delegates to vote for Tinubu at the APC presidential primaries, an effort which paid off handsomely judging by the results from North-Central.
“But we know the president knows who he wants to work with. It should not be a case of monkey working and baboon eating. But we are sure President Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima will address this issue.”