By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Following the continued interplay of forces which has culminated in the decision to hold its national convention on February 26, the Buhari House national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC on Wednesday witnessed increased security presence.
Policemen in several Hilux vans were stationed in strategic locations along the Blantyre Street of the secretariat in what party sources said is to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“This is more like a routine. It is to inspire confidence in those who transact businesses with us, including those of you in the media who come here (secretariat) everyday.
“As you know, we also work based on intels. There will be several meetings on the composition of sub-committees for the national convention and there is need to ensure that our property, staff and visitors are guaranteed foolproof security”, said a party official.
Meanwhile, ahead of the national convention, the South-south Emerging Leaders’ Forum SELF has warned leaders of the party not to elect some former governors and individuals in the race who have been indicted for some financial crimes by anti-corruption agencies.
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In a statement Wednesday in Abuja, National Coordinator of the group Barrister Preye Wilson, warned that the ruling party does not need a national chairman that will be a regular visitor to anti-graft agencies to explain past dealings when such person is supposed to be strategizing on securing victory for the party in next year’s general election.
Barrister Wilson also added that it was time the ruling party deviated from past experiences of electing former governor as national chairman.
While making reference to a media report titled: “APC faces integrity test, five chairmanship aspirants on EFCC radar,” the South-south forum warned that if any of these allegedly indicted chairmanship aspirants is elected as a national chairman the party will be easily blackmailed by the opposition parties and other critics.
The report published by a national newspaper had queried; “President Buhari, who claims the fight against corruption is the cornerstone of his administration, has constantly frowned against corrupt persons taking up positions of leadership. With some of the aspirants still battling cases at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, will the President as the leader of the party, and the APC hierarchy be willing to look the other way or will they insist that anyone is free to contest? Providing an answer to this question would require looking into the profiles of the 11 aspirants.”
The South-south forum however urged the party delegates and leaders at all levels to consider Senator Mohammed Sani Musa’s integrity, track records, firmness and simplicity among those parading themselves as chairmanship aspirants in APC.
“For us in the South-South Emerging Leaders’ Forum, we believe that the best way the ruling party can continue to discourage corruption as clearly stated in the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari is to elect a new national chairman that is free of EFCC or ICPC cases.
“We also note that since the successful merger process that produced the ruling APC, former governors have had enough time. From our father, former Governor of Osun state, Chief Bisi Akande, who was succeeded by another former Governor of Edo state, Chief John Odigie Oyegun and later to another former Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we feel it is time to try a Senator and a competent hand at that.
“We therefore appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President and Speaker, former and serving governors, and all the APC leaders at all levels to support the aspiration of Senator Mohammed Sani Musa from Niger state to emerge the next national chairman of APC.
“This we believe that the governing APC will not regret. We have taken our time to investigate all the aspirants, we have listened to them at various platforms and also read about their plans for the party and therefore came to a conclusion that the Senator representing Niger East is currently the best to lead an anti-corruption political party among other indices.”