…How party chair, Adamu announced Lawan as ‘consensus’ candidate
By Omeiza Ajayi,ABUJA
In what appears a move closer to revealing the identities of those alleged to be undermining the presidential aspiration of All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a top official of the party has now listed those involved in the plot.
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, had alleged last week that some elements in the Presidential Villa were working to sabotage Tinubu’s chances at the polls.
Affirming the position of the governor, yesterday, National Vice Chairman, North-West of the APC, Salihu Lukman, noted that the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as APC’s presidential candidate was a product of an internal party contest.
Lukman also formally disclosed how the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, announced Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as the consensus presidential candidate and struggled to get the buy-in of the party leadership.
He said: “Schemers who failed to produce neither former President Goodluck Jonathan, and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as the consensus candidate of APC have unleashed the so-called cashless policy to damage the APC and the candidature of Asiwaju Tinubu.”
According to him, by the time of March 28, 2022, APC National Convention to elect National Working Committee members, presidential aspirants had emerged, and many already had their preferred candidates for the position of national chairman.
He said: “Some of the presidential aspirants were able to expand their lobbies to some of the influential people around the President and perhaps succeeded to convince President Buhari to nominate Sen. Abdullahi Adamu for the position of national chairman.
“Shortly after the election of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC, negotiations for the emergence of a so-called consensus presidential candidate was activated.”
Lukman noted that the scheming around emergence of a so-called consensus candidate was ridiculously stretched beyond the APC to include people like former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said: “These were never members of the APC. But with the active collaboration of some influential people outside the APC, some sophisticated mobilisation of so-called ‘hundred eminent businessmen, political, media and civil society leaders, including 14 current governors, 13 former governors, as well as three former senate presidents’ commenced around April 2022.
“Gradually, this scheming shifted and was entrenched within APC. By May 2022, when the party began to sell its nomination forms to aspiring candidates, forms were purchased by some APC leaders for former President Goodluck Jonathan and others.
“Eventually, when these schemers couldn’t succeed in popularizing both former President Jonathan and others as possible contenders to emerge as consensus presidential candidates for APC, the Senate President, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, was recruited and promoted.
“It is on record that Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, on the eve of the convention that elected Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the party, announced to NWC members that Sen. Ahmad Lawan was the consensus presidential candidate of the party.
“Members of the NWC, with Progressive Governors, rose against that move and again thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari, the contest for the presidential candidate of APC was thrown open and Asiwaju won with a wide margin.
“Part of the dummy that was promoted within the APC to attempt to popularize the choice of a northerner, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, as a consensus candidate was that since PDP had elected Atiku Abubakar, a northerner, as its presidential candidate, we needed to also elect a northerner, so we can win the votes of northerners.
“This is completely inconsiderate of the popular agitation for power shift in the country. It is also insensitive of the potential instability that the choice of another northerner emerging as President of the country could cause.
“Ahead of the APC National Convention, APC Governors from the north had already declared their opposition against a northerner emerging as APC presidential candidate.”
What worked for Tinubu
He said Tinubu’s personal quality, given his track records, both as a businessman, politician, and elected governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 and the fact that he has over the years proven himself as a fighter for democracy, was a great asset to his emergence.
“This is one characteristic that has defined him and perhaps strengthened him to survive many personal attacks on his person and his integrity. The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo investigated him on many of the issues that are being used to smear his name, such as drugs.
“Renowned radical lawyer and human rights activist, late Gani Fawehinmi, challenged his academic credentials unsuccessfully in courts. Many journalists and activists questioned his integrity but were not able to establish any proof.
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