Buhari, APC Leaders to Meet Friday over Inauguration

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(L-R) Chairman Governors' Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari; APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawal; APC National Leader, Senator Ahmed Tinubu and former Osun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande during the APC Caucus meeting where former Delta State Governor, Chief Emmanuel Udughan, was presented to the leaders of the party at the State House Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja Tuesday

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including the National Working Committee (NWC) members and other key stakeholders will be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

The ruling party leaders will be joining the president to break his fast in the evening of Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

A presidency source, who spoke to THISDAY at the weekend, said President Buhari invited the leaders of the party to the State House as part of the usual courtesies during the Muslim Ramadan fast.

“President Buhari has extended an invitation to the APC leadership to join him in breaking fast at the Villa,” the source said.

Another top member of APC told THISDAY that the National Chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole informed the NWC members of the president’s invitation at their last meeting on Friday.

He said that the president, who will be back to the country early this week, is very keen in having a smooth transition to the next administration and would be ready to work with the party to achieve that.

The source explained that beyond the breaking of fast, the president and the leaders of the party may use the opportunity to discuss the preparation for the inauguration of his second term and most as well as the raging tussle for the leadership of 9th National Assembly.

There is a growing apprehension within the APC fold on the reported move by some northern elements, some of who are planning to go against the party’s choice for Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Some of these elements were said to have become reluctant to support the two lawmakers already endorsed by the party.

THISDAY gathered that part of the issues discussed at the NWC meeting were the modalities for the zoning of the remaining National Assembly leadership positions.

So far, the party had endorsed candidates for only two positions, Senator Ahmed Lawan (Norrh-east) for Senate President and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (South-west), for Speaker House of Representatives.

THISDAY gathered that part of the issues discussed at the NWC meeting held on Friday were the modalities for the zoning of the remaining National Assembly leadership positions.

The ruling party is yet take a final decision on where it will zone each of the remaining National Assembly leadership positions.

The delay has thrown up a lot of agitations from among the party’s stakeholders with each zone positioning itself to grab the offices.

A reliable source privy to what transpired at the NWC meeting, said there were was heated debate between the national chairman and some of the NWC members.

 on how to handle the zoning offices in the incoming 9th National Assembly, especially the growing agitations by party stakeholders.

It was learnt that most of the NWC members appeared to be supporting their zones in their quest to secure plum positions.

THISDAY gathered that the APC leadership is planning to use the opportunity of meeting with the president to address the issue of the rebellion by some members over its decision to endorse candidates for the Senate president and Speaker of House of Representatives.

As part of the moves to douse tension, it was learnt that some of the concerned leaders are trying to arrange a peace meeting with President Buhari where issues could be sorted out before it becomes late.

It was learnt that the brewing crisis of confidence has led to the regrouping of these northern stakeholders to possibly anoint alternative candidates that will contest against the ones endorsed by the APC.