Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on how to conduct a successful national convention on March 26, not to discuss the president’s choice for national chairmanship, a governor who attended the meeting has said.
The meeting ended with President Buhari not endorsing the candidacy of any of the aspirants gunning for the position of the national chairman, including a former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Despite clarifications by Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina that his boss had not settled for any of the aspirants, a section of the media was still misled into running reports that Adamu was the president’s preferred choice.
The governor who attended Tuesday’s meeting expressed disappointment that a section of the media could be so easily manipulated by politicians.
“I read reports that the governors tried to make Mr. President drop former Governor Adamu as the favoured candidate for the office of APC national chairman.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Is it possible for presidential spokesman to say his boss has no preferred candidate on Monday, and then we the governors will be begging Mr. President on Tuesday to drop a non-existent candidate?” quizzed the governor.
He said the proper thing for the reporters who interviewed Governor Baguda after the meeting was to have pointedly asked him if President Buhari indeed insisted on any particular candidate “instead of relying on dubious sources with questionable ambition to try to use them to set an agenda.”
He stated; “To begin with, nothing close to what your people reported happened. If indeed Mr. President endorsed any candidate, such would have been disclosed during the after-meeting briefing by our chairman, the Kebbi State governor, H.E. Atiku Bagudu.
“Mr. President is not a dictator. But he’s also not a puppet. If he is interested in any particular candidate,he would tell the governors of such candidate so. He wouldn’t just foist the candidate as such is for the position of national chairman, not of the President’s ward,” explained the governor.
“Even as governors of states, we don’t act unilaterally. We consult widely before deciding on who and who not to appoint. You can say, ‘yes, I’m the governor, and can act as I wish’. But we still consult widely.
“Concerning the case at hand, we are vividly recall that our colleague, the Nasarawa State governor, H. E. A.A. Sule declared from the outset that Senator Tanko Al-Makura was the choice of Nasarawa State. And he has not come back to tell us that he has changed his mind,” said the governor.
He added, “I don’t want to say that those pushing this agenda have a sinister motive. If you’re changing a thing, will you replace it with something less or more appealing? We removed Adams Oshiomhole because we said he wasn’t good enough.
“What are we now trying to do: replace him with somebody more or less appealing. Somebody with more or less baggage? Somebody older or younger? Somebody who is coming to further unite or divide the party? Somebody who is a founding member of our great party, or somebody who gatecrashed?” he questioned.