There are indications that the ruling All Progressive Congress is still undecided on where it would zone its presidential ticket in the forthcoming general elections.
This comes despite the commencement of the sale of nomination forms by the party and aspirants purchasing them.
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, confirmed it when he said no decision has been reached in the zone to produce its presidential candidate for the 2023 election yet.
This also comes as the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has initiated fresh moves to pressure the major political parties to throw their tickets open to all sections of the country, saying that the “power shift arrangement is already dead and buried.”
Adamu told State House correspondent at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday after presenting the Ekiti APC gubernatorial candidate, Abiodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari, that the decision on which part of the country should produce the ruling party candidate was beyond him.
While stating that the APC was yet to decide, he maintained that “I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot preempt what the party decision will be.”
Recall that the ruling party had swapped its national offices between North and South, leading to the emergence of Adamu from the North Central as the national chairman.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State had said just before the last national convention of the party that even though the APC had not decided on zoning the presidential ticket, the swapping of national offices was an indication of where its presidential candidate would come from.
Adamu also said the party does not regret the high cost of nomination forms for candidates seeking elective positions under the party.
He asserted that the APC was keen to discourage parties that have no chance of winning elections to sponsor individuals to play the role of spoilers.
According to him the cost also had to be exorbitant because of the need to raise sufficient funds to successfully prosecute coming elections.
“On the issue of cost. Yeah, I’ve been listening, with rapt attention, to the hues and cries from our lovers and from our adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever. We did some homework, we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through the presidential campaign, go through the election for the President. We know what it takes.
“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contests, but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheaply by the roadside, and assert what they call their rights and create problems for our party.
“We’re also aware that some parties that have no chance whatsoever to win the presidential election in Nigeria, will sponsor people into parties that have prospects for winning the election, to create problems for us, to divert our attention, whichever party is involved in that.
“Over and above that, yes, we are the ruling party. Yes, we need to set examples in what we do, but I ask you, I don’t know which part of the country you come from, If God forbid, your traditional ruler dies today, contestants to that office will go for more than N100 million, it’s no news.
“When I contested for the Senate, all I paid was just a token; N5 million, N10 million, including the expression. When my colleague wanted to be chairman of the party, in the days of Adams Oshimhole, it took him N500,000. Today, for me, just as an example, to contest the national chairman of our party, had to pay N20 million to contest.
“Alright, and even the enormity of work that has to be done, and this work will be done with the money. We don’t want to continue going begging.
“So, I want to say that we’re trying to mobilize sufficient funds to support our efforts to win the election. Some protests may be well-founded, I have no quarrel with that, but the propensity of this, that people just assume ‘it’s the ruling party, is a quick… in our democracy.
“I will not quarrel with that, every one of us has the right to express himself, and I’m in full support of these obligations, but we wear the shoes for our party and we know where it pinches us the most one” he stated.
On the alleged recalcitrance by some cabinet members to resign to enable them face their political ambition, Adamu wrote it off as a legal matter which he would not comment on for now.
His words, “thank you very much for your question. Our luck on this end is that I happen to be a lawyer and the issue you are raising is in court right now. So, it would amount to subjudice for me to discuss it at all”.