New era in APC as Ganduje takes control

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  •  Party’s National Legal Adviser resigns
  •  PDP, LP throw jabs at ruling party
  •  How ex-Kano Governor emerged

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR AND MAYOWA SAMUEL

The immediate past governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Thursday in Abuja emerged the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Ganduje was officially ratified to replace the immediate past national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, while the spokesperson for the ninth Senate, Ajibola Basiru, replaced Iyiola Omisore as National Secretary.

Ganduje was endorsed by leaders of the party including President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, the leadership of the National Assembly and governors of the APC under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum.

Meanwhile, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Ahmed El-Marzuq, had resigned from his position shortly before Adamu was finally ratified.

In a statement on Wednesday by his Special Adviser, AbdulHalim Adamu, El-Marzuq attributed his resignation to the emergence of ex-governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje; and former Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru; as APC National Chairman and National Secretary respectively.

“In light of the recent developments within our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), with the emergence of His Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Senator Ajibola Basiru as National Chairman and National Secretary and the reconfiguration of party offices for national cohesion and adequate regional representation, the National Legal Adviser found it pertinent that he resigns his position within the party to allow for a smooth reconfiguration of the party’s leadership,” he said.

Accepting the task of leading the APC as its national chairman, Ganduje promised to pursue more reforms to strengthen the party. He pledged to ensure that internal party democracy is entrenched under his watch.

“Our main focus will be promoting party unity, defending and increasing the number of executive and legislative seats we currently hold.

“Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to engage in wider consultations and make the party functional throughout the year.

“More reforms will be carried out in the party in alignment with the current political landscape,” he pledged.

Acknowledging the turbulent times the new administration came into office, he reminded members of the need to rally full support to the Tinubu administration, while pleading with Nigerians to give the administration headroom to address the myriad of challenges confronting the country.

“We all agreed that we must unite our members to achieve support for our government to respond adequately, urgently and assertively to the challenges that Nigerians confront on a daily basis.

“The challenges include unemployment, poverty, insecurity, social cohesion and the rising cost of living.

“I want to make a special appeal to Nigerians to bear with the President at this trying moment, considering that the country’s economy had been in shambles for years. I believe the policies and programmes to be unveiled by Mr. President when his administration fully takes shape will surely turn things around for the better.

“Our party must remain rooted among the people, must demonstrate a willingness to serve and make sacrifices, and must be willing to acknowledge and address our weaknesses,” the new chairman stated.

He promised to work assiduously in ensuring the party’s victory in the November 11, 2023 governorship polls in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States, promising a level-playing field for all party members during party primaries.

Ganduje said, “We will ensure a level-playing field for all party members that want to contest elections under the party’s platform. Our primary elections will be free, transparent and fair

“Let me also use this opportunity to call on all members of the party and all the people of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States to close ranks to ensure that the APC wins the forthcoming governorship elections.

“As we move forward, let me assure you that as the national chairman, I will deal with integrity, transparency and a deep sense of responsibility. Let us work tirelessly, together to build bridges of understanding and chart a course for a great APC.”

Ganduje also pledged to ensure a scientific register of party members and pay the utmost attention to election management and conflict resolution.

The outgoing APC acting national chairman and ministerial nominee, Abubakar Kyari, also urged Nigerians to continue to support the new administration, saying that the current pains occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal would soon be a thing of the past.

PDP, LP mock APC as NEC ratifies Ganduje party chair

Reacting to Ganduje’s emergence as APC National Chair, the opposition People’s Democratic Party said the APC had confirmed itself to be a cesspit of corruption and “a haven for thieves, bribe takers and treasury looters.”

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the opposition party said,
“By appointing Ganduje, notoriously referred to as ‘Gandollar’ by Nigerians over the infamous video of him barefacedly stuffing his gown with US dollar notes as bribe allegedly from a contractor, while serving as Governor of Kano State, further validates that the APC is a putrid party of embezzlers and charlatans.

“It also underscores APC’s impunity and insensitivity to the demands of honesty, integrity and moral rectitude required of public office holders. The PDP invites Nigerians to note that only last month, a forensic analysis by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission confirmed that the content of the 2017 ‘Gandollar’ viral video was not doctored.”

Also, the lead spokesman for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, noted that the appointment of Ganduje was a clear proof that the APC lacked any toga of credibility.

Tanko said, “When you have somebody who has a lot of credibility issues hanging on his neck, what good will he bring? In fact, as we speak today, Ganduje is almost being chased out of Kano because of the atrocities he committed in the state. I am from Kano. Is this the same person the APC is making its own national chairman? Come on, they can do better.

“That means the entire party lacks credibility. That is what it shows. There is no ingenuity in him.”