Candidates jostle for Babachir Lawal’s position at APC NWC

Members of the All Progressives Congress have begun to jostle for the position of the  suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, at the National Working Committee of the party.

     Lawal was the National Vice Chairman (North-East) of the APC until his appointment as the SGF.

Saturday PUNCH gathered in Abuja on Friday that the delay in holding the inaugural bi-annual APC National convention is affecting plans to hold the ward and zonal congresses from where the new National Vice Chairman is expected to emerge before it is ratified by the National Convention.

For now, three persons namely: Alhaji Usman Iya-Abbas,  Umar Sani (Sanda) and the pioneer APC National Vice Chairman, North-West, Umar Duhu, are leading the park of contenders.

Of the three, Duhu is said to be making a strong case for a comeback having stepped aside in favour of Lawal, as part of the APC merger agreement.

Duhu who hails from Adamawa State, is considered a loyalist of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is a chieftain of the APC. He hails from the same constituency with former Political Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, as well as a former Adamawa State Acting Governor, James Ngilari.

Meanwhile, preparations for the national convention are expected to begin in full swing as the month of Ramadan draws to a close.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the party leadership is proposing to send four persons to meet with Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to choose a date for the convention.

A highly placed member of the party’s National Working Committee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said four senior party officials are being proposed.

He said, “For now, our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, our Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso and the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, are the ones likely to meet with the Acting President.

“We have yet to agree on a date but it will be soon after the fasting period because we must hold the convention this year that is one thing I know. When a date is fixed then we can set up a convention committee involving all stakeholders.”

Attempts to get official comments from the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, were unsuccessful. Calls to his mobile telephone indicated that it was switched off, and response to a text message sent to him was still being expected as of  the time of filing this report.

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