From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have demanded that they be given the opportunity to produce the next national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming national convention of the party scheduled for February 26.
The CPC members reminded party members that they were part of the formidable forces that formed the APC shortly before the 2015 elections and succeeded in taking power from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with President Muhammadu Buhari as the then-candidate.
The CPC bloc, sadly, complained that they have not had the opportunity to produce the national chairman of the party, making reference to past National Chairmen of the party, namely, Bisi Akande, John Odigie-Oyegun and Adams Oshiomole, from other blocs but none came from the CPC bloc.
National President, APC Support Groups for Al-Makura (NA-CASA), Chukwunonso David Ezedinma, who addressed journalists in Abuja, solicited the support of other party members for the emergence of former Nasarawa State governor, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, as either the consensus candidate or the choice of the party members.
‘Our feeling is that now that the position is going full circle, what is good for ANPP and ACN is also good for CPC, which Senator Al-Makura represents in the new leadership set up. A consensus arrangement in our party at this time will make for a rancour-free process and for party progress,’ he said.
‘Besides, our choice candidate is a consummate Buharist right from the days of defunct CPC. As one of the founding fathers of APC, Al-Makura understands the principles upon which the party was founded, and has the capacity to effectively manage its affairs.’
He insisted that APC needs someone with experience, network, brinkmanship and pedigree, to navigate the very delicate political climate that currently envelopes the party with different factions emerging from different states.
‘This is the time for APC to exercise great discretion in the choice of its next leaders, especially the National Chairman, as it prepare to face the challenges of the post-Buhari presidency.’
He reminded party members that the merger arrangements that produced the APC was midwifed by Al-Makura as the only CPC Governor alongside other leaders who went into negotiation table with other political parties like the ACN, ANPP and APGA, that gave birth to APC
‘As the party convention fast approaches, we have examined the current zoning arrangements for party positions at the national level and noted that, of all the zones, the North Central remains the only zone that, in spite of its overwhelming support for the APC has not been allowed to play any major role in the evolution of its national leadership.
‘As a result of the foregoing, our committee wishes to advise that the position of the national chairman in the forthcoming national convention be zoned to the North Central for equity and fairness.’
He maintained that, for the party to survive and retain the Presidency in 2023, Al-Makura, the former governor of Nasarawa.