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APC Governors Accept New Convention Date, Zoning Formula

Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have agreed on a zoning formula that will swap offices held between north and south. The deal is to the effect that all offices occupied by northerners in the last eight years will go to the south while positions occupied by the south go to the north with effect from 2023.

The governors who visited President Muhammadu Buhari also tabled their decisions on the forthcoming national convention of the party.

The agreement was revealed after a 15 minutes meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and 19 governors of the APC at the Presidential Villa yesterday.

Also 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 and the outgoing deputy governor of Anambra Dr Nkem Okeke.

While briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai noted that agreement had been reached on the zoning formula.

“We have agreed on a zoning formula for all the six geo-political zones. Essentially, the northern zone will have the positions the south has had in the last eight years. And vice versa. It is a very simple, equitable and fair formula.

“We will now go back and consult at the zonal level and look at the available positions and the process of the convention preparation we started in earnest.

“So, by the grace of God, on the 26th of March, we would have done our national convention,” el-Rufai said.

19 of the governors were in attendance at the meeting taking place at the Council Chambers.

El-Rufai while fielding questions from journalists confirmed that the APC governors were divided over the timing of the national convention as some were of the belief that there were many issues left unresolved.

“Yes, we were divided. We 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’s issues in some states.

“As you know, in some states, these matters are even in court. 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 a 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.

“So, that was the difference. This is what the media has called divided governors.

“In a democratic setting, there is no way you can have 22 governors plus the deputy governor of Anambra state agreeing on any issue. We can have differences.

“But after our meeting of last night, to deliberate on the proposal by the national caretaker committee, and our briefing with Mr. President today, we’re all on the same page,” he added.

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