2023: Senators, Reps failed as APC rejects Automatic Ticket Plot

Strong indications have emerged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, has sealed the fate of some returning federal lawmakers.

Already, over 70 per cent of incumbent senators and members of the House of Representatives elected on APC platform have indicated interest to re-contest. However, their fate, especially senators who represent outgoing governors, have reportedly been sealed by Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC).

A fortnight ago, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, separately appealed to APC leadership to grant automatic tickets to ‘performing’ members of the National Assembly

Lawan had said: “We expect our party to note that we have done so much in terms of performance and working cooperatively and assiduously with the executive and all leaders in government from the realisation of our mandate for our manifestoes, policies and programmes of our government.

“I think APC National Assembly members deserve a special treat as the speaker said. If someone has made the zeal, I believe it is time for another term for that person.

“I believe it is the experience that members of the National Assembly have gathered that made them perform well. So, I like to say they deserve another term.”

An APC senator told Daily Sun that jittery lawmakers had mounted pressure on Lawan and Gbajabiamila to prevail on Adamu-led NWC to give them right of first refusal.

Though key members of APC’s NWC are former lawmakers, the senator said Adamu refused to endorse the request.

Instead, the senator said Adamu has given more powers to governors to exercise full control of APC structures in their various states.

He said in states where APC has serving governors, fates of lawmakers’ return will be determined by them, while former governors in states where APC is not in charge may likely determine who gets the party’s tickets at various levels.

Reinforcing what the source told Daily Sun, Adamu, a fortnight ago, re-echoed the fact that governors were the leaders of the party in the states.

“The problem today is a battle between serving state governors and their predecessors. It is a battle of ego. We can’t let this continue because it constitutes a threat to the party.” He said former governors should recognise that the serving governors are the leaders of the party.

The source listed Niger, Plateau, Jigawa, Kebbi as key states where outgoing governors would likely displace current senators.

However, APC spokesman, Felix Morka, said the issue was yet to be discussed by the NWC of the party.

He acknowledged the request made by Lawan and Gbajabiamila but  insisted that only issues itemised in the published election guidelines of the party were valid for now.

“The APC has not discussed such an issue. The NWC is yet to do that. All the issues we have raised are contained in the party guidelines, recently published,” he told Daily Sun.