10th NASS Leadership Race: North Will Ditch Tinubu If…, Yari Warns, Hold Your Fire, Adamu Cautions

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed the party’s members-elect aspiring to lead the incoming 10th National Assembly, to cease fanning the embers of discord in the APC over its recently release zoning list on the contest.

  The APC issued the order when it welcomed aggrieved aspirants to the Senate leadership to a meeting at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, 11 May, 2023 who were at the APC National Secretariat Abuja to register their displeasure over the party’s recently released zoning list.

Addressing the aggrieved aspirants on behalf of the NWC, National Chairman, APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, promised them that the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would to look into the issues raised in their protest memo.

 Adamu urged them to hold their fire and wait for Tinubu the party on the matter, stressing that they should respect the supremacy of the party and the person of the President-Elect.

Adamu said: “We are happy to receive you to come and expressed your displeasure for what we have done. As chairman of the APC and members of the National Working Committee, we take responsibility. As chairman, I take responsibility for what has gone on air. I take absolute responsibility for that. And in that spirit, I welcome you to this office on behalf of my colleagues.

 “Yesterday, we received members of the lower chamber who are also contesting for the speakership in the lower chamber and we had similar pronouncements – words of disagreement from them. What we will not do today from what we have received from you is to start to open any discussion with you at this sitting as to how what you heard got to be what you heard.

“Yes there was no sufficient or adequate consultations with you who are contesting and it is simple principle of democracy that we get your views and opinions. But, the circumstances that we found ourselves in after the elections frustrated our desire.”

National Chairman, APC, Abdullahi Adamu

 The APC national chairman continued: “We must as democrats open up. So when NWC was very clear, yes we have received with respect, the outcome of the meeting with party leaders, comprising leadership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the party, the NWC. We will go back to the drawing board. We owe our party that duty to take a look whether what was done cannot be changed (or if) what was done needs some changes or reviews. We will take a look at what necessary compelled us to do (so) by the grace of God. 

“Hold the fire until the last word is heard from us. We are the custodians of the party as NWC but we are not acting alone. The voice of the president-elect is an essential voice. We must accommodate him, the best we can. I will not compromise on that. So, he is right now outside the country and by the grace of God when he comes back we will go back to the drawing board and put our heads together again and see what we will get. I cannot preempt that, I will wait until we hold that meeting with Mr. President-Elect, the same team that we had the same meeting with. If we need to enlarge the committee we will do so. We will be better informed through contributions that we will be made. 

“We will go through your memo, line by line and ensure that we are able to capture the spirit of your presentation and see what will be the best way out of the situation we have. Whatever you heard is the art of human endeavour and we are not perfect as human beings. We can make mistakes. So, if we find in the course of further consultations the mistakes that need to be looked at, we will look at them.

The important thing is that the spirit of the party must be kept alive. We just came out of the election. The whole country is looking up to us. We are counting down to inauguration on the 29th of this month. Our eyes must stay on the ball. But in doing so we must make sure justice is done. We will do the best as human beings to deliver justice to all and sundry.”

 Adamu added: “On the issue of the North-Central, I remain tongue-tied talking about North-Central. Your argument is extremely plausible. I assure you, we will take a look at it, alongside what has been given to the public. 

“I don’t want to believe that vote is not essential thing. Vote remains the essential thing in every democracy because vote is the opinion of the populace.”

L-R Sen. Yari, National Secretary, APC, Iyiola Omisore and National Chairman, APC, Abdullahi Adamu…during the meeting
Sen. Yari addressing the media after the meeting

Earlier, while presenting their position on the zoning arrangements for the National Assembly positions, leader of the aggrieved Senators, Sen. Abdullazir Yari, accompanied by Sen. Orji Kalu, said: “We are here to present our letter of grievances to you and also tell this honourable house as leaders that we are not satisfied with the arrangement and what we are expecting from you is fair play. At least, say that ‘this position is zoned to this particular region and anybody in that particular zone can participate’. If you want to do justice and fairness as a party, to look at where you have opportunities and where you have your own people. It is going to be tough in this area and I have no apologies to anyone.

“Your own people as a party who decide to maintain you as a party are from where we came from. So, Mr. chairman, we have been in this game and we understand it very well and is about dialogue. We say ‘yes’ to party supremacy. But we are looking at the election we won in 2023 and the next election in 2027. So much depends on how we play the part.” 

 Yari continued: “Mr chairman we know each and every success come from God. Mr. chairman, we from this axis strongly believe that we have done our best despite the whole challenges. Everyone has done his best but we are number one. One other thing about people from the North they believe Buhari was a messiah that was why they came blindly and picked us without any condition or in regard to anything. Despite the fact that many things have happened along the line, they maintained the relationship, they maintained the love. They did not give excuses in 2019; they came out and elect him (Buhari) again.

“The President-Elect got 63.4 per cent of votes in the North. Where he came from – the South – he got 36.6 percent. Atiku Abubakar from Northern Nigeria got 68.8 per cent of the total vote and he got from the Southern Nigeria 33.2 per cent. So, now if there is anyone who can say we own APC, we own the President-Elect in the Northern Nigeria – without undermining any part of the country. They have given their best and we can understand their situation but justice needs to be done.

 “We should not be blinded. The power of anyone is not absolute but only God is absolute. We should not look at these four years as 20 years. Soon, we are going into another election. We are going to the next election. We should underline that we are elected and we are going to be looking for another election. So, whatever decision you are going to take we are expecting you as friends working with the President-Elect to tell him not to go there. We don’t need rocket science to explain why you can defend what you are trying to do as something for the betterment of the APC, and for the betterment of the President-Elect. 

“The other people also have their reasons to be there (as 10th National Assembly leaders). This is all about dialogue and communicating with others and negotiations. I spoke for myself and believe other colleagues will speak one by one.”

Yari concluded: “We are expecting that you give us fair play. Now if you look at the calculation of what we have in the Senate, it is not magic. We are thinking if care is not taken, if we play 9it) the way you presented to us, it is not acceptable.

“If the opposition do the nomination and they have their way, it is going to be another problem to us. So Mr. chairman, we are not undermining what you are doing but we are doing this for the sake of this party. We are doing it in the best interest of the party because where we are talking today, if we from the North take another decision, it will not be good for all of us and it will become history. We don’t want that to happen. What will prevent that from happening is if we do justice. We should all pick our pen and write today’s date down: It is 11th May, 2023. Anything to the contrary, walahi Northern Nigeria will take another decision.”

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