Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Ahead of the February 26 national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, a national chairmanship aspirant, Chief Sunny Sylvester Moniedafe has denounced reports in a section of the media that he has withdrawn from the race.
A section of the online media had at the weekend reported that the Jagaban Jimeta had stepped down for a fellow aspirant and former Governor of Nasarawa state, Sen. Tanko Almakura.
Moniedafe had a few days ago paid a courtesy call on Almakura and some of the national chairmanship aspirants as part of consultations to ensure a rancour-free contest.
“I recently met Sen. Almakura and Sen. Sani Musa. I also met Mallam Saliu Mustapha and Mallam Mohammed Etsu too. I am trying to meet Sen. Akume and others.
“I want to build that bridge, to form synergy among all the aspirants. I am here to debunk that story that I stepped down for Almakura. He is a wonderful man but I did not step down for him. I went to consult with him. He is from the North Central and I am from the North East. I have not stepped down from the race to become the national chairman of our party, the APC”, he stated.
Moniedafe also dismissed concerns that zoning the national chairmanship ticket away from the North East would spell doom for his ambition, saying if that should happen, he would not withdraw from the race but rather go for the ticket of the National Vice Chairman, North East.
“If it (zoning) happens, I will go for the highest post which could be the National Vice Chairman North East
“I started my campaign in 2020 from my Ward in Jimeta, Yola because like the president said, all politics is local. I am Delta by origin, Adamawa by birth and Abuja by residency.
“I am a party man. If my party says direct or indirect or consensus, I will abide by it. But everything must be done transparently. You cannot do consensus without consulting all the aspirants. We have contributed a lot to the party and we deserve to be consulted on any decision that will be taken with regards to consensus.
“It came to my notice that many people are worried about the zoning of the APC Chairmanship. That if it is not zoned to the North East Zone, it will spell doom for me. Far from it!
“Now let me spell out the various scenarios: One, I desire and pray that it is zoned to the North East; if it is not, I have said it at different fora that I will pick up the form for the positions zoned to the North East!
“Two, becoming the National Chairman is not a one-way matter. I am more than qualified to contest, which I have displayed for over 18 months now. I want to make the assertion that I have the required experience and qualifications to be in any of the positions of the NWC, except the Women and Youth Leaders, of course!
“In that case, if by chance the North East Zone is not favoured, we will go ahead with any of the positions zoned to my Zone. For emphasis, I will contest
“However, who has zoning helped? Zoning is akin to godfatherism. We have to change the narrative of how we do things”, Moniedafe added.