By Nathaniel Zacchaeus, Abuja
A national chairmanship aspirant in the forthcoming convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdul-Aziz Yari, yesterday cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against endorsing any anointed candidate.
Yari warned Buhari to avoid the mistake he made in the past when he allegedly singlehandedly handpicked a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, as the APC national chairman.
The former governor of Zamfara State said this when he paid a visit to the National Assembly to confer with the APC caucuses in both chambers of the federal parliament.
There have been insinuations in the media that President Buhari had endorsed one of the aspirants, Senator Abdullahi Adamu as his preferred choice.
Yari told journalists after meeting with the Senate APC caucus that he also heard of the rumours on social media.
He, however, said the President through his media office, had denied stories about his anointed candidate.
Yari said, “You have also been reading in the newspapers that President Muhammadu Buhari did not anoint anybody the special adviser on media, Garba Shehu has since clarified that.
“We are trying to break those jinx, we must come through the ballot box so that we can respect the votes of the people not by picking. Let me remind them those that think they can just be pushed forth, come and do it that it will not be business as usual.
“The President made mistake in the past by anointing Adam’s Oshiomhole singlehandedly nobody voted for him, he was anointed as the national chairman and you can see the result today, do you want to remain like that?”
On the party’s arrangement which zoned the national chairmanship position to the North-Central, Yari said he was not aware of such things.
“I am not aware that, the party zoned the national chairmanship position to North-Central. What we were briefed on was that the positions of the North should go to the South and that of the South to the North that is what the caucus sat down to agree.
“I am one of them and many others are not, therefore as you see in the social media that is the same way I saw it in the social media and as a senior person in this party I cannot rely on information from the Social media they deserved to be verified.
“In any case, one thing we should be determined to do is to bring about true democracy. For instance, this particular office is always being marred by all sorts of arrangements that did not deliver the right choice of the people.
“For instance, should the chairmanship be zoned to northern Nigeria and Presidency to the South are we going to dictate to the zone who should be chosen, no. We are trying to break that jinx and embrace real democracy. I did not know any issue about zoning because it was not communicated to me, I only saw it on social media
“I have already purchased my form and you know what it is the National assembly makes laws for everyone. Whether reconciliation or any other process I have already picked the form. We are ready to meet in the ballot box.”
Yari urged stakeholders not to vote for someone who could reform the party.
He said, “The contest should not be about where you came from, it should be about what you can do. We hope to produce the next president and we need a leader that will ensure that the party keeps winning. This election we have been postponing was supposed to be done in the last year.
“I came to present myself to you and solicit for your support. If we cross the bridge, we hope to work hard and produce the next president of this country.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who stood in for the Senate President, said Yari was one of the few contestants that have formally visited them in the Senate, adding that haven been in the House of Representatives and supported them, they will also support him.
He said, “APC Is at a crossroads. That is the bad news. The good news is that all the challenges will soon come to pass.
“You are a major stakeholder. You’ve served as a governor and you know the problems of the party. In the next few days, continue to tour that part of peace. All we seek here at the National Assembly is a strong APC that will win the next election.
“There are so many conspiracies outside here. The PDP is praying to win the 2023 General Election, we are also praying and we pray God should not answer their prayers. You are a leader that can speak truth to power. You are a leader that fits that bill. We wish you success on the 26 of this month,” Omo-Agege said.