There were indications yesterday that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have endorsed immediate past Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as replacement for the erstwhile national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu.
With the development, it is likely that the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) bloc which produced former President Muhammadu Buhari may have again taken a back seat in the scheme of things in the party’s leadership.
LEADERSHIP had reported on Tuesday that former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who is an ardent member of the CPC bloc, and Senator Sani Musa from Niger State were being considered as possible replacements for Adamu.
However, it was learnt last night that despite pressure on President Tinubu to retain the chairmanship position in the North Central, he settled for Ganduje, apparently to pacify the North West zone which had insisted on producing the Senate President of the 10th Assembly.
It was also gathered that four APC governors, including chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma; his Kwara State counterpart and two others led to meet with Tinubu at the presidential villa yesterday.
At the meeting, the president was said to have briefed the former Kano governor of the plan to make him APC national chairman, instead of minister as earlier planned.
According to reports, Ganduje who had made Tinubu’s ministerial list was asked to nominate someone as his replacement from Kano State.
The news of Adamu and Omisore’s resignation broke on Sunday night but was not confirmed until Monday after the National Working Committee (NWC) meeting of the party.
A source within the party who confirmed the development said the choice of Ganduje as the new chairman would be unveiled at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which was postponed indefinitely on Monday.
It was also learnt that a former Senate spokesman in the 9th Assembly, Senator Ajibola Basiru, from Osun State has been tipped to replace the erstwhile party’s national secretary, Iyiola Omisore, who tendered his resignation letter alongside Adamu.
On the choice of Ganduje as the next APC chairman, an online paper quoted a source as saying: “President Tinubu has settled for the former Kano state governor Ganduje to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the party’s national chairman.
“The President had listed Ganduje as one of the nominees for ministerial appointment but because of his trust and confidence in the former governor, President Tinubu has to change his mind and asked two governors (Governor Hope Uzodimma and the Kwara state governor) to persuade Ganduje into another assignment.
“The president also asked him (Ganduje) to nominate another person from Kano for the ministerial job. I can confirm to you that four serving governors of APC, including Imo and Kwara governors led the former governor Ganduje to a meeting with the President on Wednesday afternoon. The purpose of that meeting was for President Tinubu to brief Ganduje directly about the new assignment.”
But speaking after a meeting of the APC governors at Imo Goverors Lodge last night, chairman of the PGF, Governor Uzodimma refused to comment on the development.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Uzodimma neither confirmed nor denied that Ganduje had been contacted to become the next national chairman of the party.
When confronted with the question he simply ended the interview with journalists and joined his colleagues as they left the Lodge.
Deputy national chairman of the party, Senator Abubakar Kyari, had on Monday announced Adamu’s exit as chairman after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.
He said, “We are here to address the happenings and recent developments regarding the party. The NWC wishes to inform you about the resignation of the National Chairman Senator Abdullahi Adamu and that of the National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
“My humble self as the deputy national chairman (North) to assume the office of the acting national chairman, consequently too, the deputy national secretary, Barrister Festus Fuanter, will now assume the office of acting national secretary of the All Progressives Congress.”
He also said the proposed national caucus and NEC meetings slated for today and tomorrow have been postponed.
He said, “With the recent development, we implore everybody here that the proposed National Caucus and National Executive Committee meetings slated for July 18 and 19, 2023 are hereby postponed. This postponement is not indefinite. A new date will be communicated in the nearest future”.
He also refuted reports suggesting that the presidency and the party may have deployed operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest Adamu and Omisore.
He stated: “There are no allegations against them. Both of them resigned voluntarily and that is what is available at this moment. The details of their resignation will be made known to you in the nearest future”.
Adamu reportedly tendered his resignation letter on Sunday on the orders of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It became clear that Adamu had resigned his position as national chairman when Kyari, who arrived at the party’s national secretariat at about 10:35am, led a team of seven other members of the NWC to a meeting in his office.
Kyari’s official car was also parked in the space reserved for the national chairman.
The former national secretary, Omisore, who arrived at the national secretariat at about 11:20am was said to have been barred from the ongoing NWC meeting.
Omisore, who left the secretariat as soon as he came in, said he was going to meet Adamu, noting that he did not know why the former Nasarawa governor was not at the secretariat.