The new shape of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national caucus emerged yesterday. There are new faces, such as former Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and former Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio.
Uduaghan’s membership of the APC was largely unknown until last night when President Muhammadu Buhari met with the party’s national caucus at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Also at the meeting, which is expected to kickstart the APC’s preparations for next year’s general elections, were former Lagos State Military Administrator Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) and former Military Governor of Katsina State Gen. Lawrence Onoja (retd.).
Gen. Marwa is from Adamawa, home state of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar who quit the APC to pursue his presidential ambition in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was active in the CPC. Information Minister Lai Mohammed was at the meeting. He is now the leader of the party in Kwara State, following Senate President Bukola Saraki’s defection to the PDP.
Former Ebonyi State Governor Martins Elechi, formerly of the PDP, was also at the meeting. The Caucus meeting will prepare the ground for tomorrow’s National ExecutievCouncil (NEC) meeting which will ratify the plans for the party’s congresses and convention to pick its candidates for all the various offices, including the standard bearer in the presidential election.
A decision on whether to adopt direct primaries being advocated by National Chairman Adams Oshiohmole or indirect primaries, through the delegates system was expected to be taken. President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting held at the New Banquet Hall of the State House. Proceedings started around 8.30pm.
Also attending were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Oshiomhole, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande and former National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun. Deputy National Chaorman (South) Adeniyi Adebayo and Chief Don Etiebet were there. There were 17 governors at the time the meeting started. They are the governors of Lagos, Borno, Jigawa, Niger, Plateau, Kogi, Adamawa, Ondo, Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Katsina, Osun, Yobe, Nasarawa, Kebbi, and Imo.
Also at the meeting were House of Representatives Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Senators Kabiru Gaya and Jim Nwobodo. There were also former governors Segun Oni (Ekiti) Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno), Sullivan Chime (Enugu) Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa) and Oserheime Osunbor (Edo).