The Kano state governor, Umar Ganduje yesterday explained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s preference of former Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was a personal opinion which should not be seen as an imposition on the party.
Recall that Buhari was widely reported to have on Tuesday at a meeting with APC governors called on them to support the candidacy of the immediate past Edo state governor for the party’s national chairmanship.
Ganduje spoke same day that the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, stated that Buhari’s endorsement of Oshiomhole, for the position of national chairman would not preclude others from contesting for the APC top job.
While reacting to a statement from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that Buhari was trying to impose Oshiomhole on the ruling party, Ganduje told reporters after a meeting of some governors with the members of the National Working Committee, NWC, that “there is no imposition at all”.
“Everybody is free to contest just as everybody is free to hold an opinion on who should lead the party. I don’t think that there is any case of imposition because it is not a guideline and not part of the constitution.
“Just like every other person, Mr President has the right to air his opinion, but that does not mean he should stop any person who will like to contest from contesting. Mr President’s opinion is not constitutional and it is not a non-constitutional opinion as well.
“He just voiced out his thought which will serve as a guideline to some and otherwise to others. The issue of being undemocratic does not even arise. There is what we call guided democracy and we regard what Mr President said as such. If that is what will make the party stable and avoid the fallout after the election like we saw in the PDP, it will be better for us.”
The Kano governor added that “if President Buhari’s choice of the party’s next national chairman would ensure party stability and avoid a fallout after the election, it would be better for all”.
On his part, Abdullahi, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, at the end of a closed-door meeting between the party’s national working committee, NWC, and governors elected on its platform, maintained that the race for who becomes chairman of the party was still open.
He also disclosed that the meeting between the NWC members and the Governors, was to get their commitment toward peaceful and transparent congresses.
“We felt that such commitment was necessary because some of the party´s governors are already giving the impression that congresses will not be held in some states,” he explained.
Abdullahi hinted that the APC’s leadership, may change the dates for its congresses and convention earlier announced to commence on May 2 and end with the national convention on May 14.
His words, “We have agreed that the NWC will go back and take a second look at the timetable and see the possibility for adjustments, because there are other issues.
“The timetable may be reviewed because it coincides with Muslim’s month of fasting; we must be sensitive to the feelings of Muslims who will be fasting in the month of Ramadan. We shall try to avoid conducting any political activities in that period”.