Gen. Lawrence Onoja, a former Principal Staff Officer to the late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and some Middle Belt elders of the All Progressives Congress, on Friday, backed a former Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to replace the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
The zonal party elders, however, gave a caveat that Ganduje should only be allowed to serve in an acting capacity pending the conduct of a national convention.
The development is coming barely three days after the APC chairmen in seven states of the North-West similarly endorsed the 73-year-old politician at a meeting in Kaduna.
Similarly, a Coalition of North-Central Leaders on Thursday also backed the former governor to emerge as the national chairman of the party.
The choice of Ganduje as the preferred choice of President Bola Tinubu and the APC governors has generated mixed feelings among party faithful and members of the ruling party.
While a few party chieftains felt the prospective replacement for Adamu should be allowed to emerge from Nasarawa State in line with the zoning arrangement of the APC, others backed the choice of the former Kano governor.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the leader of the Middle Belt delegation, Onoja, who was also a one-time military administrator of Plateau and Niger states, reiterated that it is only a convention that will determine any readjustment in the party’s zoning formula.
He said, “It is not surprising therefore that since the Progressive Governors’ Forum endorsed Ganduje’s candidature, many political interest groups have similarly endorsed him to lead the party in an acting capacity. We as representatives of elders of the party from North-Central Zone are here today in continuation of the series of endorsements of Abdullahi Ganduje. We represent different elders’ groups of the party in the zone.
“For these reasons, we hereby collectively endorse him to chair our great party to continue where Abdullahi Adamu stopped in steering the ship of the party until substantive leadership positions are filled at the next convention in line with the party’s constitution. We are concerned with merit, quality, and continuity in leadership for our party.
“We have no doubt Ganduje will play that chairmanship role very effectively in the acting capacity. We implore all concerned and the media to share in our collective desire for him to succeed, for the party to succeed, and for the interest of Nigeria.