As the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is preparing for its national convention which may hold before December 2021, several party chieftains including five former governors from the northern part of the country are jostling to become the next chairman of the party.
The party has been under the control of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as caretaker chairman after the tenure of Adams Oshiomhole as chairman was cut short sometime in June 2020. .
The Buni committee was mandated to reorganise, resolve the avalanche of the crises rocking the party and to organise a national convention to elect a new NWC, in line with the party’s constitution.
After two extensions (of six months) were granted, the Caretaker Committee commenced the process for the emergence of a new NWC. On July 31, 2021 ward congresses were held in more than 18,000 wards throughout the country. It was followed up by the local government congress while the state congress is slated for October 2.
Ahead of the convention, agitation for zoning of the party positions and elective offices keeps mounting and the need for the party to honour the gentleman’s agreement of power rotation in 2023 between the North and the South is becoming more palpable.
From indications, the APC national chairmanship aspirants, who are mostly from the North, include; Abdulaziz Yari; a two-term former governor of Zamfara State.
Yari was former chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF.
Another name that is popular among those contesting for the party’s number position is Ali Modu Sheriff; who is seen as the most controversial figure in the race. A founding member of the APC, he was also a leader of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, one of the legacy parties that metamorphosed into the APC.
The name of Isa Yuguda; former Bauchi State governor and former Minister of Aviation is being mentioned as one of the contenders.
The name of Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno State and a lawmaker in the National Assembly is also being mentioned as showing interest in the party’s number one position.
Former Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura, is another contender for the national chairmanship position.
Until his recent encounter with the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Al-Makura was seen as a top contender and less controversial figure in the race for the APC chairmanship.
Also, there is Danjuma Goje; a former Gombe State governor. He is a third-term senator representing Gombe Central and Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation.
Abdullahi Adamu also a former Nasarawa State Governor and a third-term senator is also being named among the contenders.
Also, there is Saliu Mustapha; his name may not ring a bell because he is not in the club of former governors, but he is well known within the political circle.
A politician from Kwara State, Mustapha was the national deputy chairman of the defunct CPC.
There is lastly, Sani Mohammed Musa; he is the youngest of all the chairmanship aspirants.
The 54-year old member of the upper chamber of the National Assembly represents Niger East Senatorial district.