… As Buhari, Tinubu meet in London
… APC constitutes 68-member convention committee
By Ayo Fadimu
The newly reinvigorated alliance between President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been described as a winning formula for the broom party in the 2019 presidential elections.
A Chieftain of the party, Hon Tunde Abudu-Balogun told Nigerian NewsDirect that the party would sweep the 2019 presidential elections just as it did in 2015.
“Asiwaju (Tinubu) is a Progressive leader to the core, he will not rock the boat” Balogun said. While describing PDP as a dead horse, Balogun insisted that the opposition party is going nowhere.
“APC will win next year” he responded confidently to Nigerian NewsDirect’s enquiry.
In the meantime, Buhari on Sunday met Tinubu behind closed doors in London.
The President’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Alhaji Bashir Ahmad, made this known on his tweeter handle, @Bashir Ahmad, in Abuja.
The presidential aide posted: “President Muhammadu Buhari receives National leader of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (Jagaban) Sunday in London.’’
President Buhari, who is on official visit to London had on Wednesday met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby in London where he explained why he declared his intention to run for another term in office.
President Buhari had on April 9, 2018, during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019.
“I declared before leaving home because Nigerians were talking too much about whether I would run or not.
“So, I felt I should break the ice. We have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and many others. “We needed to concentrate on them, and politics should not be a distraction.
“The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting,’’
President Buhari told the Archbishop. While in Britain, the president is billed to hold discussions on Nigeria – British relations with Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May, prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled for April 18 to 20.
A presidential spokesman Garba Shehu had earlier disclosed that: “The President will also meet the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Plc, Mr Ben van Beurden in connection with Shell and other partners’ plan to invest $15bn in Nigeria’s oil industry.
“These investment ventures will lay the foundation for the next 20 years production and domestic gas supply, bringing with it all the attendant benefits both to the economy and the wider society.”
Shehu, who is the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said that further meetings had also been scheduled for the President to see some prominent British and Nigerians residing in Britain.
Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that the meeting between the two leaders of the party was to strategize on how to secure victory for the party in 2019 elections and also to discuss recent happenings within the ruling party.
Meanwhile, APC has constituted a 68-member National Convention Committee. The list of the committee members was released by the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Sunday.
The list of the committee indicated that the Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, will chair the committee, while the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, will be his deputy.
Senator Ben Uwajomogu was named as member/Secretary.
Also listed as members of the committee are 10 state governors and some members of National Assembly, among others.
The governors are Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Ahmed El-Rufai (Kaduna).
Others are Simeon Lalong (Plateau), Bindo Jibrila (Adamawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
A former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani, is also a member.
The senators in the committee are Ahmed Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Andrew Uchendu, Abdullahi Danbaba, Baba Kuka and John Enoh.
Two serving ministers are also in the list. They are: Chris Ngige (Labour and Productivity) and Mr. Uguru Usani (Niger Delta).
In a related development, a social commentator, Comrade Adeola Soetan described as a welcome development return of unity to the ruling party, APC.
He lauded the party on its resolution to obey its own constitution after much mutually self destructive intra politics of suspicion, power grabbing, self annihilation and disorganisaton that has terribly affected governance in Nigeria as the ruling party’s centre could not hold.
“In all this politics of mistrust, President Buhari is the main culprit for his detached and deliberate politics of aloofness so as to run government on a ‘no party’ basis, a divide & rule tactic that is now backfiring and becoming a threat to his second term ambition. Hence his late hour ‘about turn’ tactic to flirt with the Tinubu faction that he believed can garner some votes for him in their zone of influence” Soetan a former Student leader of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife told Nigerian NewsDirect.