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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Breaking: APC throws national chairmanship position open, says Oshiomhole's endorsement is not final

Breaking: APC throws national chairmanship position open, says Oshiomhole's endorsement is not final

Breaking: APC throws national chairmanship open

- APC has thrown national chairmanship position open ahead of its national convention

- President Buhari had recently endorsed former governor of Ed state, Adams Oshiomhole for the position

- But the party on Thursday, May 31, said that Oshiomhole's presidential endorsement was not final

The national convention committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the endorsement of former Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for the position of the national chairman of the party has not foreclosed other candidates from aspiring for the position.

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The Nation reports that the party also said that the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu led reconciliation committee was working silently underground to reconcile aggrieved members of the party, stressing the the level of crisis within the party is as a result of the interest of Nigerians in the affairs of the party.

We gathered that while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, May 31, the chairman of the media subcommittee of the convention committee and Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, said even though the party has decided to maintain the current zoning arrangement, every member of the party was free to aspire to any of the offices within the party.

The governor also revealed that the shift in date of the convention from June 2 to June 23 was occasioned by the need to give every member of the party their constitutional right to free religious practice and not put undue stress on the Muslim members of the party who are currently fasting.

He said: “I believe that, yes, the president has endorsed, but it doesn’t preclude other people from declaring to contest. It is a democracy and everybody is open to declare. I think everybody has a right to declare and once they declare, we go through the convention and we choose whoever won. So, it is very competitive and you will still see in the coming days some people will declare their interest.

Ajimobi said: “Those who know the meaning of reconciliation must first of all realize that it is all encompassing and the Asiwaju’s committee is working quietly, reconciling people underground and working with everyone. You will see a lot of people moving round and talking quietly with the Asiwaju group. So, the reconciliation is ongoing.

“As human beings, from the beginning of our being in this world till the end, we must continue to reconcile. We must reconcile ourselves with the environment, reconcile ourselves with people. So, reconciliation is a work in progress. I believe the Asiwaju team they are working very effectively and reporting to the President.”

Speaking on state congresses and the crisis and violence that has followed them, he said: “there might be violence here and there, it is interesting. You know, people value something that is very good. Anything of good value, people fight for it and it isn’t unusual to have people disagree over controlling and owning something.

“So, it is common with our party, it shows the level of democratization that we have experienced, it also shows the level of how interested people are in the party and the democratic nature of our party. State congresses, yes there have been reports of violence here and there, it will continue to witness reconciliation and this is what we are doing. I believe honestly that reconciliation should take place.

Speaking on while the party changed the date of the convention from June 2 to June 23, he said: “APC is a very considerate party. We believe that during Ramadan, many people should not be made to travel from their localities to Abuja.

“We felt that you could do state congresses, you could do local government congresses, you could do ward congresses in your area without travelling around. But come all the way to Abuja by road, which takes minimum of ten hours will be very hectic on people. So, we believe that we should not subject people to this and honestly speaking, we decided that we do the shifting to June 23.

“If it were to be during the lent, we will do the same thing because our party is made up of Christians and Moslems and I do not know those who are pagans. If they have their own fasting season, we would have shifted it for them too.”

He said further that the party: “would also want Nigerians, who gave us Overwhelming support in 2015, to know that in line with our tradition of excellence and transparency, the Convention will be open to all aspirants who are deemed qualified in line with the convention guidelines, to vie for positions they are interested in.

“This is in keeping with our vision of entrenching true democratic ideals, not only in our party, but also in our national politics. The business of the convention shall be conducted strictly in line with the most sacred democratic principles and the process will be free, fair and credible.

“With regards to the distribution of leadership positions within the party, we have opted to maintain the current zoning arrangement. The purpose of zoning is to ensure equitable representation for the entire country.

“To this effect, we have also introduced measures to ensure adequate representation for special interest groups such as women, youths and people with disabilities. In fact, we made history by appointing leaders for people with disabilities both in the national leadership of our great party and at zonal and state levels.

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“Members of these special interest groups are especially encouraged to aspire to leadership positions within the party. That is why concessions have been granted to women and people with disabilities.

"Aspirants who fall in either category will only be required to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the application form for the positions they wish to run for. We are hopeful that this will result in enhanced representation for different groups within the party.

“We are confident that we will have a very successful National Convention, which, at the end of the day, will unify our Party; make us stronger and put us in a better position to further fulfil our electoral promises.

"On the issues arising from the recently held ward, local government and state congresses, our party the APC has put in place a comprehensive mechanism to deal with all of these issues in line with the party’s constitution and we are confident that at the end of the day, it will be over.

Meanwhile, We had previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari met with former governor of Edo state and major contender for the position of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday, May 24, ahead of the party’s national convention.

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