Some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have distanced themselves from the purported endorsement of Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the party’s consensus presidential candidate.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY had earlier reported a sharp division in the NWC following the endorsement of Lawan by the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Adamu had during the NWC meeting held on Monday, relayed to the members of the national leadership of the party what he tagged the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, as the consensus candidate
.However, shortly after the meeting, where some of them staged a walkout, the NWC members, numbering over eight openly disclaimed their chairman’s nomination of Lawan.
While briefing newsmen at the party’s national secretariat, the NWC members, also confirmed that though their chairman actually announced the choice of Lawan’s endorsement by President Buhari, they are not however in support of that decision.
The party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu, who spoke on behalf of the members, said endorsing the Senate President was a sole opinion of the National Chairman and not a collective decision of the party’s National Working Committee.
Flanked by other NWC members, comprising four National Vice Chairmen, including Salihu Moh Lukman, Isaac Kekemeke, Victor Giadom, among others, Arungu insisted that Adamu acted alone.
He further maintained that they are solidly in support of the position of the Northern APC Governors in zoning the party’s presidential ticket to the Southern part of the country.
Asked to confirm the story that Lawan emerged as the consensus candidate, the National Organizing Secretary, said: “Distinguish members of the press, as you can see all of us are coming from the NWC meeting.
“That we were fully briefed by our national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and he did brief us that the Senate President, Lawan is the consensus candidate for the APC national convention and that was just for the information he gave us.
“But it was not an issue that was discussed on the floor of the NWC meeting and we have just finished, and just recently about two days ago, the northern Governors had a meeting and said that the leadership of this country, under the leadership of the APC should go to the South. And equally, the Southern governors also affirmed that.
“So, we as members of the NWC are also with the governors on what they have said and some minutes ago the governors on the North have gone to the presidency and have just briefed the president that they are still standing on what they said with regards to the powershift to the south”, he said.
Asked if they are categorically rejecting the position of their national chairman, the NWC members replied: “You see, it’s just information he gave us, and it’s not an issue that has to be deliberated on the floor of the NWC meeting. It is information and all of us are entitled to our opinion, we are all democrats and we can exercise whatever. The decision was never taken by the NWC, but information given to the NWC. It has never been deliberated” Argungu emphasised.