President Muhammadu Buhari’s suggestion that former Edo governor Adams Oshiomhole be elected All Progressives Congress, APC, National Chairman is a personal opinion and not an imposition, according to Gov Umar Ganduje of Kano.
“Buhari’s choice on who becomes the APC’s next national chairman is his personal opinion; it is not an imposition in any way,” Ganduje told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Buhari, at a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, asked governors elected on APC platform to support the candidacy of Oshiomhole in the race to lead the party.
Ganduje, while reacting to that, said that everybody was free to contest for the seat just as everybody was free to hold an opinion on who should lead the party.
´´Mr President’s opinion is not constitutional and it is not a non-constitutional opinion as well. He just voiced out his thought which will serve as a guideline to some and otherwise to others,´´ he said.
The governor added that the issue of Buhari’s opinion being undemocratic does not arise.
“There is what we call guided democracy and we regard what Mr President said as such,” he stated.
He, however, said that if President Buhari´s choice of the party´s next national chairman would ensure its stability and avoid a fallout after the election, it would be better for all.
Also reacting to Buhari’s choice of Oshiomhole, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, said that the President’s position would not prevent others from contesting the seat.
Abdullahi, who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, at the end of a closed-door meeting between the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and Governors elected on its platform, said that the race was still open.
He, however, said that the meeting between the NWC members and the governors was to get their commitment toward a peaceful and transparent congresses that would be accepted by majority of APC members.
“We felt that such commitment was necessary because some of the party´s governors are already giving the impression that congresses will not be held in some states,” he explained.
Abdullahi hinted that the party´s leadership may change the dates for its congresses and convention earlier announced to commence on May 2 and end with the national convention on May 14.
“We have agreed that the NWC will go back and take a second look at the timetable and see the possibility for adjustments, because there are other issues.
“The timetable may be reviewed because it coincides with Muslim’s month of fasting; we must be sensitive to the feelings of Muslims who will be fasting in the month of Ramadan. We shall try to avoid conducting any political activities in that period,´´ he said.
The schedule of activities earlier released by the party´s Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso, had indicated that ward congresses would hold on May 2, while appeals that might arise from the exercise would be heard on May 3.
It further showed that local government congresses would hold on May 5, with appeals arising from the exercise fixed for May 7.
The states are expected to hold their congresses on May 9, and entertain appeals from dissatisfied members on May 10.