After several postponements, and twists and turns, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) eventually concluded its elective national convention in Abuja on Sunday morning with former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu emerging the National Chairman and the composition of a 77-member National Working Committee (NWC).
Six bigwigs stepped down for the 75-year-old Nasarawa West Senator, who was said to be the candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Another major position – the National Secretary – generated heated controversy and horse-trading with former Minister of Communication, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu insisting on running against the former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Otunba Iyiola Omisore. In the end, Shittu succumbed and mounted the rostrum at the Eagles Square, Abuja venue of the convention together with former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba to drop out of the race, paving the way for Omisore’s emergence.
With Adamu and Omisore being both formerly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), pressure mounted on the APC governors, who had assumed control of the party, not to concede more grounds to ex-PDP stalwarts over and above the APC legacy parties. One major victim of that resolve was former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who had to drop his ambition of being the Deputy National Chairman (South), a position that was conceded to Chief Emma Eneukwu, National Vice Chairman (South East) of the party under the leadership of Chief John Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The governors and other party leaders working with them came up with a “Unity List” and canvassed for support among delegates from their respective states. That “almighty” list included Adamu (National Chairman), Senator Abubakar Kyari, (Deputy National Chairman, North), Eneukwu, (Deputy National Chairman, South), Omisore (National Secretary), Festus Fuanter (Deputy National Secretary), Mustapha Salihu (National Vice Chairman North-East), Muhazu Bawa Rijau (National Vice Chairman North-Central) and Suleiman Mohammed Argungu National Organising Secretary).
Others included Salihu Lukman (National Vice Chairman, North-West), Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu, (National Vice Chairman South-East), Dr Victor Giadom, National Vice Chairman (South-South), Isaac Kekemeke (National Vice Chairman South-West), Barrister Ahmed El-Marzuk (National Legal Adviser), Bashir Usman Gumel (National Financial Secretary) and Uguru Mathew Ofoke (National Treasurer).
President Buhari later charged the new NWC to de-emphasise money politics and always allow the most popular candidates to emerge. He had in mind the primary for the 2023 elections which will be due by May.
The committee, Buhari said, should ‘as a matter of policy, promote internal democracy and always respect the wishes of the people. We must de-emphasise money politics, and not subject party primary and elections into public offices to the highest bidder syndrome’.
He added: ‘Popular and acceptable aspirants who remain the people’s choice must be allowed to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 elections. We will resist the imposition of candidates. We should also promote equal opportunities and respect for the laws guiding the elections to stand us out as Nigeria’s ruling party.
‘It is our hope that the new Electoral Act, which l recently signed into law, would promote the process of election, enhance transparency, fill in existing gaps and add value to Nigeria’s democracy’.
In his valedictory speech, the Chairman of the Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State said the committee delivered on the assignment given it, citing the party’s registration of over 41 million members during the last revalidation and exercise and the defection of some PDP Governors and other high profile politicians to the APC.
He assured the former PDP governors whose defections are being challenged in the courts that they ‘have nothing to fear because your defections did not contravene any law’.
Buni called on the party’s members across the country to support its new leadership.
No fewer than 7, 584 delegates from across the country attended the convention.
The full list of the newly elected national officers of the APC:
- National Chairman – Senator Abdullahi Adamu: (Nasarawa State)
- Deputy National Chairman (North): Sen. Abubakar Kyari (Boro State)
- Deputy National Chairman (South): Chief Emma Eneukwu (Enugu State)
- National Secretary: Otunba lyiola Omisore (Osun State)
- Deputy National Secretary: Fetus Fuanter (Plateau State)
- National Vice Chairman: (North-Central): Muhazu Bawa Rijau (Niger State)
- National Vice Chairman (North-East): Mustapha Salihu (Adamawa State)
- National Vice Chairman (North-West): Salihu Lukman (Kaduna State)
- National Vice Chairman (South-East): Dr. Ijeomah Arodiogbu (Imo State)
- National Vice Chairman (South-South): Chief Hon. Victor Ton Giadom (Rivers State)
- National Vice Chairman (South-West): Dr Isaac Kekemeke (Ondo state)
- National Legal Adviser: Ahmed El-Marzuk (Katsina State)
- National Treasurer: Uguru Mathew Ofoke (Ebonyi State)
- National Financial Secretary: Bashir Usman Gumel (Jigawa State)
- National Organizing Secretary: Suleiman M Argungu (Kebbi State)
- National Youth Leader: Dayo Abdullah Isreal (Lagos State)
- National Welfare Secretary: F.N. Nwosu (Abia)
- National Publicity Secretary: Felix Morka (Delta)
- National Auditor: Senator Abubakar Malkafi (Bauchi)
- National Women’s leader: Dr. Betta Edu (Cross River)
- Special Persons with Disability (PWD) Leader: Tolu Bankole (Ogun)
- Deputy National Legal Adviser: Ibrahim Salawu (Kwara)
- Deputy National Treasurer: Omorede Osifo (Edo)
- Deputy Financial Secretary: Hamma-Adama Ali Kumo (Gombe)
- Deputy National Organising Secretary: Nze Chidi Duru (Anambra)
- Deputy National Publicity Secretary: Yakubu Murtala Ajaka (Kogi)
- Deputy National Welfare Secretary: Dr Christopher Akpan (Akwa Ibom)
- Deputy National Auditor: Olufemi Egbedeyi (Oyo)
- Deputy National Women’s Leader: Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim (Taraba)
- Deputy National Youth leader: Jamaludden Kabir (Zamfara)
- National Ex-officio (North-Central): Oluwatoyin Opawuye (Kwara)
- National Ex-officio (North-East): Sirajo Dabuwa (Bauchi)
- National Ex-officio (North-West): Aliyu Ahmed Yako (Kano)
- National Ex-officio (South-East): Agunwa Anekwe (Anambra)
- National Ex-officio (South-South): Diriwari Akedewei (Bayelsa)
- National Ex-officio (South-West): Mrs Bunmi Oriniowo (Ekiti)
- Zonal Secretary (North-Central): Yakubu Mohammed Adamu (FCT)
- Zonal Secretary (North-East): Mohammed Wali Shettima (Yobe)
- Zonal Secretary (North-West): Barr. Bello Goronyo (Sokoto)
- Zonal Secretary (South-West): Vincent Bewaji (Ekiti)
- Zonal Secretary (South-East): Azobi Innocent Itapi (Ebonyi)
- Zonal Secretary (South-South): Dr Ita Udosen (Akwa Ibom)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (North-East): Dauda Chapo (Taraba)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (North-Central): Hadiza Aliyu (Kogi)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (North-West): Barr.Dauda Usaini Dutse (Jigawa)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (South-West): Ismail Kolawole Majoro (Oyo)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (South-East): Mayor Ogbona Ernest (Ebonyi)
- Zonal Legal Adviser (South South): Nil
- Zonal Organising Secretary (North-East): Abubakar Adamu Musa (Taraba)
- Zonal Organising Secretary (North-West): Salisu Uba (Zamfara)
- Zonal Organising Secretary (North-Central): Ahmed Attah (Kogi)
- Zonal Organising Secretary (South-West): Lateef Ibirogba
- Zonal Organising Secretary (South-East): Dozie Ikadite (Anambra)
- Zonal Organising Secretary (South-South): Blessing Agboma (Edo)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (North-East): Lamido Mohammed (Gombe)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (North-Central): John Okobo (Benue)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (North -West): Musa Makatiya (Zamfara)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (South-East): Augustine Onyedebehi (Imo)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (South-South)
- Zonal Publicity Secretary (south-West): Ayo Afolabi
- Zonal Women’s leader (North-Central): Oluwatoyin Opawuye (Kwara)
- Zonal Women’s leader (North-East): Zainab Abubakar Alman (Gombe)
- Zonal Women’s leader (North-West): Hajiya Hadiza Shagari (Sokoto)
- Zonal Women’s leader (South-West): Mrs Yetunde Adesanya (Ogun)
- Zonal Women’s leader (South-South): Caroline Owugha (Bayelsa)
- Zonal Women’s leader (South-East): Mimi Uchenna Diyokeh(Enugu)
- Zonal Youth leader (North-Central): Zubairu Aliyu (Kwara)
- Zonal Youth leader (North-West): Abdulhamid Umar Mohammed (Kano)
- Zonal Youth leader (North-East): Jason Baba Kkwaghe (Adamawa)
- Zonal Youth leader (South-East): Nkenna Anyalewechi (Abia)
- Zonal Youth leader (South-West): Kolade Lawal (Ondo)
- Zonal Youth Leader (South-South): Comrade Ebimobowe (Delta)