By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The forum of All Progressives Congress APC contestants to the 2018 National Convention of the party have written a letter to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee NWC of the party to immediately commence the process of filling all vacant positions within the NWC.
In a letter signed by the Secretary of the forum, Frank Ossai, the contestants urged Comrade Oshiomhole to follow precedence and party guidelines that saw Lanre Issa-Onilu replace Bolaji Abdullahi as National Publicity Secretary, to fill the vacant National Secretary and National Vice Chairman North-West positions.
While Arc. Waziri Bulama has received endorsement of party leaders for National Secretary, a position which became vacant following the election of the outgone scribe, Mai Mala Buni as Yobe State Governor, Hon. Isa Umar is poised to emerge as National Vice-Chairman (North-west).
Both men contested the June 2018 convention and are from the States/Zone that the positions were zoned to.
Part of the letter reads; “We note with great satisfaction the flexible and all-inclusive structure of the Party’s National Leadership in resolving issues that would ordinarily have led to crisis whenever there are vacant positions in the leadership of the party. We are convinced as individuals who have gone through the party’s electoral processes that leadership positions should always be occupied by persons that are prepared and willing to serve the party selflessly.
“Therefore, it gladdens our hearts at the discretionary exercise of wisdom by the party’s hierarchy on critical issues like this. A great instance is that of the former National Secretary of the Party, His Excellency Mai Mala Buni, who left his former position as National Secretary of the Party to contest for the governorship seat of Yobe State and thus, his seat at the National Secretariat became vacant. The party’s decision to retain his deputy as acting National Secretary is commendable and widely acceptable. However, the position should be given to persons that contested for the office of the National Secretary at the 2018 APC National Convention.
“We have, in this vein, also observed that some National Executive members’ offices are likely to become vacant given the disciplinary disposition of the party towards unruly and disloyal members as may be seen in the case of the National Vice Chairman (North West) and the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party who are visibly in open confrontation with different organs of the party. Specifically, the case of Barr. Inuwa Abdulkadir, the sacked National Vice Chairman (North West) who was expelled by the Party for anti-party activities and his continuous unrepentant disposition to caution, it is our expectation and appeal that such a vacant position be meritoriously allocated to whoever is next in line or in pole position to take over.
“While we are in solidarity with the tenets of our great Party as enshrined in its constitution and other relevant laws, we passionately suggest that members of the Party who should fill such vacant positions those who fulfil laid down procedures to occupy such offices in the party; to wit, such persons must have indicated interest in serving the party, obtained the nomination form, undergone the screening processes of the convention, paid the specified fees and canvassed for votes, and particularly must have been adjudged to be qualified and fit to occupy elective positions during the 2018 elective Convention.
“In view of the above, Sir, it is important to point out here that it would be unjust and unconscionable for members of the Party, particularly zones, state or wards as the case may be, who have exhausted their opportunity to hold an office, to now have their hope dashed by an attempt to import a member of the party who did not at any point contest for any office at the national level to fill as sensitive an office as that of the National Secretary, as well as the National Vice Chairman (North West) of the party.
“Needless to say, our Party has set earlier precedents in addition to a plethora of cases affecting wherein an office becomes vacant, and there’s a party decision to fill such an office with individuals who are either Deputies or persons who have earlier indicated interest and contested for such position.
“A quick search reveals that our Party has, down the years, upheld this principle which has been supported by the Apex Court in the land in the 2015 Kogi State Gubernatorial election wherein the Party’s flag bearer for the governorship position in the state, Prince Abubakar Audu, died before he could be declared winner and returned elected in said election. The Party in its infinite wisdom brought forward the candidate with the second highest votes in the Party’s Primary election, Mr Yahaya Bello who continued with the mandate of the deceased Prince Audu and the Court upheld same.
“Also, the Party recently replaced a vacant position which became expedient after the last elective convention wherein the Party replaced Mr Bolaji Abdullahi who left the party and his seat as the National Publicity Secretary of the Party for the opposition party with Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu who came second in the said convention”, the contestants added.