APC convention: Unity list, micro-zoning, consensus pose fresh challenges

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From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The inability of several geo-political zones to agree on an acceptable micro-zoning formula and the plans to raise unity list by certain party cabals, among others, are some of the challenges confronting this week’s proposed national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In virtually all the six geo-political zones, the ruling party is enmeshed in crisis over failure to agree on both consensus and micro-zoning arrangements, less than one week to the national convention billed for Eagle Square Abuja this weekend.

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Curiously, most of the aspirants that returned their expression of interest and nomination forms to the party’s national secretariat, admitted collapse in the attempts to agree on acceptable micro-zoning arrangements.

An aspirant for the party’s Women Leader, Mary Ekpere Eta, had while confirming the disagreement in micro-zoning of positions, admitted that the attempt to arrive at an acceptable one collapsed completely.

“There is a rumour I will like to dispel that there is an anointed candidate somewhere. I saw a video of someone saying that the governor said a consensus has been made. There is nothing like consensus. We were invited into a meeting and when I saw where they were going I left.

“This is democracy, democracy is sweet. We all go to the polls, you win and we all hug ourselves. We hug the winner and we move on. The governor said, this one said, then why is it democracy?

“Democracy is the government of the people for the people and by the people. It is not imposition. It is not injustice. If you want consensus, you call us on a round table and we dialogue. As I speak, we have only two aspirants who have obtained forms; myself and Barrister Helen. It must not be about who you know.

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“We need credibility and hard work and not to allow things to deteriorate because of imposition. Let us go to the polls, sell our agenda and whoever wins we will hug ourselves and we continue,” she insisted.

Equally dismissing any consensus arrangement option for the party’s national chairmanship position, former governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, argued that direct primary is liberal enough to accommodate every member of the party.

Asked which mode of election, direct, indirect or consensus, he would prefer for the APC to adopt, he said: “I am a democrat. Our party constitution has given three procedures for emergence of leadership, direct, indirect, and consensus. But I can tell you, the best option is that which allows franchise and permission for everyone to participate in the exercise.

“I will support an open-door policy, internal party democracy with full participation of members so that they will have a sense of belonging and determine the fate and direction of the party,” he said.

Lamentably, the position of National Vice Chairmanship (South-south) is also allegedly tearing the chieftains of the party in the zone apart, with two ministers at each other’s throat over who produces the candidate for the position.

Similarly, the position of National Organising Secretary zoned to Northwest and micro-zoned to Kebbi State has become a subject of fierce contestation with Ismaeel Ahmed, youth representative in the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from Kano State throwing his hat in the ring for the position.

Beyond the disagreements in arriving at common ground on consensus and micro-zoning of the national offices, the apprehension and anxiety trailing the anticipated release of unity list few days ahead of the convention this week has become very palpable.

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