The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress shelved talks on the controversial zoning of the 10th National Assembly leadership at its emergency meeting on Monday.
The two-hour closed-door meeting, which took place at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, was chaired by APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Abubakar Kyari.
The National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who was speculated to be ill, was absent.
The PUNCH had reported how the ruling APC debunked speculations that the national chairman was rushed abroad for medical treatment.
The news of Adamu’s illness was equally refuted in two separate interviews with the APC National Vice Chairman for the South-East, Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu, and the party’s Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim.
The development came barely three weeks after the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, left the country for Paris, France, after the general elections.
But Arodiogbu, a member of the NWC, confided in our correspondent that Adamu only went on a business trip to China, from where he was expected to attend Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
At Monday’s meeting of the NWC, a source told The PUNCH that the members avoided debate or discussion around the controversial issue of NASS leadership zoning until the return of Adamu and the President-elect.
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“I think it was a deliberate move since the National Chairman and the President-elect are not back from their respective trips. Instead, the attention was on the outcome of the weekend governorship primary in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states,” the source said.
The meeting came hours after a protest by supporters of an aggrieved aspirant in the Kogi State governorship, Murtala Ajaka, at the secretariat.
The demonstrators had threatened to vote for the opposition at the November 11 governorship poll if the APC failed to address the allegation of election fraud levelled against Governor Yahaya Bello.
Recall that another disgruntled aspirant, Senator Smart Adeyemi, had accused Bello of imposing his cousin on the state.
Meanwhile, the party’s leadership disclosed at Monday’s NWC meeting that it had forwarded the names of Timipre Sylva, Hope Uzodinma and Usman Ododo, who won the APC governorship tickets in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states respectively to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
A copy of the letter obtained by our correspondent was signed by both Kyari, who is acting on behalf of Adamu and the National Secretary of the party, Iyiola Omisore.
It partly read: “We write to forward the underlisted list of our party’s candidates to your commission for the 2023 off-season governorship elections.
“His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva – Bayelsa State; His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma – Imo State; Ahmed Ododo – Kogi State. Above is for your information and necessary action, please.”