Home News Afenifere, Ohanaeze react as APC says no decision on zoning

Afenifere, Ohanaeze react as APC says no decision on zoning

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze and the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, have reacted to the claims by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Abdullahi Adamu for saying the ruling Party was yet to decide on the zoning of its presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 elections.

Adamu had disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after he presented the party’s governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.

Adamu said, “I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot pre-empt what the party’s decision will be.

“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contest, but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheap by the roadside and assert what they call their rights and create problems for our party.

“We’re also aware that some parties that have no chance whatsoever to win the presidential election in Nigeria will sponsor people to create problems for us and to divert our attention, whichever party is involved in that.”

Adamu also noted that the APC had no regrets about the high cost of nomination forms for aspirants seeking elective offices.

He noted that the high cost was justified by the party’s need to raise sufficient funds to successfully prosecute the coming elections.

He said, “On the issue of cost. Yeah, I’ve been listening with rapt attention to the hues and cries from our lovers and our adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever. We did some homework; we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through presidential campaigns and go through elections for the President. We know what it takes.

“Over and above that, yes, we are the ruling party. Yes, we need to set examples in what we do, but I ask you, I don’t know which part of the country you come from if God forbid, your traditional ruler dies today, contestants to that office will give more than N100m. It’s no news.

“When I contested for the Senate, all I paid was just a token; N5m, N10m, including the expression. When my colleague wanted to be the chairman of the party in the days of Adams Oshimhole, it cost him N500,000. Today, for me, just as an example, to contest the national chairman of our party, I had to pay N20m.

“The enormity of work that has to be done will be done with the money. We don’t want to continue begging. So, I want to say that we’re able to mobilise sufficient funds to support our efforts to win the election. Some protests may be well-founded, I have no quarrel with that, but the propensity of this, that people just assume it’s the ruling party.”

In their reaction, Ohanaeze, through its spokesman, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said in an interview with newsmen, that the APC was “vacillating and insulating like a pendulum,” because it knew the truth.

He urged the ruling party to “be wise and do the right thing for equity and fairness to all the regions.”

Ogbonnia stated, “They know the truth, that is why they are moving left, right, and centre like a pendulum. It is not good that this should be the identity of the APC.

“The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is the leader of the party today. He should step in and take decisions just like former President Olusegun Obasanjo took the decision in 2006 that a northerner should be the President since he was from the South.

“Because of the power-rotation principle agreed upon by the party, the Presidency had to move to the North. All eyes are on Buhari to do to the South-East what Obasanjo did to the North-West. They have seen the truth and don’t want to accept it.”

Also reacting, Secretary-General of Afenifere, Dr. Sola Ebiseni, said Adamu’s statement did not come to the group as a surprise.

Ebiseni added, “That the new national chairman of the APC is now wavering on the zoning of its presidential ticket to the South after he has secured his own position based on that understanding did not come to us in the Afenifere as a surprise because we saw it coming and our leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has used every available platform to warn those who may be so deceived. These are all permutations driving towards the ultimate decision on what Nigeria will make of itself.

“While it may sound predictive that having swapped the party positions between the North and the South, the positions in government such as the President, Vice-President, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives will equally be so exchanged by the party; the prized seat of the President and the Leviathan powers at its command are too tempting to be allowed to pass by those who believe Nigeria is their exclusive estate. This is the reason behind the deliberate resistance to restructuring.”

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