The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has agreed to alternate offices between the north and south in the next dispensation.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Disclosing this while responding to a question, Kaduna Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i dispelled reports of division among APC Governors.
He however admitted there were disagreements over time for the party’s National Convention.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Mallam El-Rufa’i revealed that agreement had been reached on zoning formula.
Explaining the newly agreed arrangements with regards to sharing positions in the party, El-Rufa’i said all offices occupied by northerners in the last eight years will go to the south and vice versa under the new arrangement.
According to him: “We were divided, were divided over the timing of the convention. Okay, there were some Governors that felt that we should put off the convention until we resolve all the congress’ issues in some states, as you know, in some state.
“So, some Governors held the view that we should wait until all these are resolved and this is not borne out of any agenda or selfishness, it is just a realistic proposition to avoid us violating any laws or putting our party structures of elected candidates in danger.
“So yes, there were differences in opinion about timing. Some of us are saying the Constitution allows us to have convention, even if three or four states have issues that are unresolved while others are saying no, let us finish all the reconciliations and we do this convention. After all, there is no time limit for the convention, as long as we do it before the time for the primaries.
“We have agreed a zoning formula for all the six geopolitical zones and essentially, we swapped northern zones will take positions that southern zones had in the last eight years and vice versa. So very simple, equitable and fair formula.
“We will now go back and consult at the zonal level, and look at the positions that are available and the process of the convention preparation will start in earnest.
“So, by the grace of God on the 26th of March, we will have done a national convention. Whether we do zonal convention before that, or do it at the same time, again, the constitution is silent.
“So as our chairman said we can decide either way. But let nobody leave this room with any doubt that the Progressive Governors are united.”
Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum Atiku Bagudu, revealed Buhari is in favour of consensus to select candidates for party offices.
Also answering questions, he stated: “On Consensus, Mr. President reminded us that we have produced a number of national chairmen by consensus; Baba Akande emerged as the pioneer chairman of the party by consensus; His Excellency John Oyegun emerged by consensus; His Excellency Adams Oshiomhole emerged by consensus.
“So, he is a believer in consensus as one of the options of producing leadership, and he urged us to explore consensus, so that we can generate list.
“While recognising in that many people who have indicated interest are equally competent, but knowing that just one person will occupy the office, consensus is part of our Constitution and urged us to work towards consensus.
At the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Eighteen of the Governors are in attendance at the meeting taking place at the Council Chambers.
They are from Yobe, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Cross River, Kaduna, Lagos, Borno, Niger, Gombe, Osun, Kebbi, Anambra dep, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Kogi, Ogun, and Plateau states.
The outgoing Anambra Deputy Governor is also in attendance.
Credit: The Nation