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…As NANS takes protest to APC secretariat

By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA

THE scheduled meeting of 21 presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja could not hold, yesterday, despite series of pre-event publicity in the days leading to the parley.

The roundtable earlier slated for 2pm at Transcorp Hilton, was for the aspirants to come up with viable strategies to support the APC standard bearer, Bola Tinubu, to win the February presidential election.

Although no official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting, it was gathered that most of the aspirants who were invited to the parley were non-committal.

Convener of the meeting, Dr Nicolas Felix, had earlier said the aspirants had indicated their readiness to attend the meeting.

However, in a message sent to one of the aspirants and seen by Vanguard, Felix implied that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely.

The message reads; “Good day your Excellency.  Please be informed that the strategic meeting of 2023 Presidential Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, scheduled to hold on Wednesday, the 31st of August has be postponed.

“A new date for the meeting will be communicated soon. Apologies for any inconvenience(s) that this might cause. Stay blessed.”

Aspirants didn’t communicate readiness —Source

Vanguard, however, gathered that some of the aspirants did not communicate their readiness to attend the meeting.

The source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has travelled. Senate President Ahmad Lawan did not formally respond to the invitation, likewise former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.”

Suggesting that there could be cracks within the ranks of the presidential aspirants, especially with regards to Tinubu’s candidacy, the source said the party’s standard bearer still has a lot of reaching out to do.

Another source said: “It seems some of these aspirants are yet to come to terms with our presidential candidate because some of them are not seen to be rallying the needed support for the party yet. 

“All of them were well informed about this meeting. The organisers even sent out public statements twice to remind them but some did not show interest at all.”

NANS takes protest to APC secretariat

Meanwhile, the election the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, slated for Thursday has torn the APC leaders against one another.

To this end, a group of the APC youths, yesterday, stormed the national secretariat to protest the purported choice of the national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, for the NANS’ presidency.

Security was immediately beefed up around the secretariat as the combined security forces guarding the ‘Buhari House’ battled to quell the protest.

It was gathered that an aspirant for position of National Youth Leader,  Segun Dada  who had stepped down for the current youth leader, Dayo Israel had led a delegation to brief the party’s leadership over NANS election. 

A source, who spoke under anonymity said: “Dada’s attempt and desperation to force his way with his delegation resulted in the police using teargas on him and others, which infuriated them, leading to the situation becoming rowdy.

“Yes, Dada was on a genuine mission to brief the leadership on how PDP elements in APC have hijacked the election, as directed by the youth leader.

“But what we cannot understand was why he came with those hefty boys that fought the security agents. It was bad that the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the party was molested by those boys that came with Dada.

“One of the candidates for today’s election, Umar Farouk from BUK Kano is Tinubu’s choice, while Usman Baba Kankia from ABU Zaria was the initial choice of Abullahi Adamu and the presidency.

“However, Usman Baranbu from Federal University Dutse is the popular choice of student leaders and stakeholders. So, what happened at the secretariat was a display of forces and a dress rehearsal and litmus test of what to expect during Thursday’s NANS election.”

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