Not less than 10 sitting governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are seeking the party ticket re-election to fly the party flag in the governorship election scheduled for February 2019.
Sitting governors seeking the parry ticket are Governors Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), Mohammed Sani Bello (Niger), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Jibrilla Bindo (Adamawa) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos).
Governors Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) is not seeking re-election, while the election of Governors Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi) is not due yet.
While Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State is also not seeking re-election having served his mandatory eight years, the governorship election in the state will take place on Saturday, while the inauguration of Kayode Fayemi as Ekiti state Governor will take place in October.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party led by the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole screened the returning governors one after the other at Oshiomhole’s personal campaign at the Asokoro area of Abuja.
The party leadership also screened some sitting governors who are contesting the Senatorial ticket to represent the party in the senate including Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Rochas Okorocha, Abdulaziz Yari, Kashim Shettima and Tanko Al Makura.
The Nation gathered Governors Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna and Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina has nobody contesting against them in the governorship primaries.
Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who spoke with newsmen after his screening said “the screening went on successfully but you know the number of governors that took turn to undergo the screening. My own took less than 3 minutes then I bowed and left because I have no challenger in APC governorship primary in Kano state.”
He dismissed the effect of defection on the fortune of the party in the forthcoming elections, saying “it is the opposite, meaning many more politicians are coming to APC. I know that they are nomadic politicians but and we have gained more from nomadic politicians than we initially suffered from.”
When specifically mentioned the exit of the former Kano state governor, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, governor Ganduje simply also asked: “And the coming of Shekarau.”
On his part, Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari expressed justified the use of indirect method of primary, saying that the governors are mostly on ground and will easily adapt to any of the options for primary election.
He insisted that those who were clamoring for the use of direct primary were members of the party who are not on ground and were afraid of facing the people through the delegate system.
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi on his part said he does not have any anointed for any of the positions being contest, assuring that he will not interfere in the process leading to the choice of his successor.
“I am not God, I don’t anoint. I have no anointed candidate. I think we have opted for indirect primary but more importantly, we have so many people who are eminently qualified aspirants and for me, I have given them free hands, let them talk to all party members. And whoever they among them, I am okay. There is none of them who is not eminently qualified.
“I think we have opted for indirect but more importantly, we have so many people who are eminently qualified aspirants and for me, I have given them free hands, let them talk to all party members. And whoever they among them, I am okay. There is none of them who is not eminently qualified.”
Niger state governor Mohammed Sani Bello whose state is one of the few than has settled for direct primary said that the party’s stakeholders met and decided to settle for the direct primary in the state.
When asked on the strategies putting in place to ensure that APC win at the general election in Niger, the governor said: “With the adoption of the direct primary the party is becoming more popular. We will try as much as possible to uphold fairness and justice in the party, and give everyone equal opportunity to vie for any position they want. We will ensure that by God’s grace we have outstanding victory in 2019.”