News of the South

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has explained the reason behind the emergence of Emma Ibediro as the national Organising secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the recent national convention of the party.

The ruling party held its elective national convention in Abuja on June 23 and 24 where it elected new members of the national working committee.

Mr Ibediro, an ally of Governor Rochas Okorocha, defeated the former occupant of the position, Osita Izunaso, a former senator by 1,749 votes to 1,459.

Mr Okorocha, who is also the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, a union of the APC governors, had fallen out with Mr Izunaso, over the outcome of the ward, local government and state congresses of the party in Imo State.

During the congresses, Mr Okorocha lost control of the party structure to the “Allied Forces” a group backed by Mr Izunaso; the Imo North senator, Ben Uwajumogu; a former senator, Ifeanyi Araraume and others.

Mr Okorocha, the lone APC governor in the South-east, alleged that Mr Izunaso used his influence as a national officer to facilitate the emergence of the officials at the three levels.

Speaking at a South-east APC dinner for President Muhammadu Buhari in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Mr Ganduje explained that the governors decided to back Mr Ibediro for the position in order not to humiliate Mr Okorocha whom he described as a “bridge builder.”

Mr Buhari was not at the dinner.

According to a statement on Tuesday by Mr Ganduje’s media aide, Abba Anwar, the Kano State governor said before the convention, there were speculations that the battle for the position would be between Mr Okorocha and Mr Izunaso because of the some unresolved issues arising from the congresses.

“I can remember when there was a gang up to humiliate our brother politically, Governor Rochas Okorocha, we went there directly and said ‘no that will not happen in our presence. And over our dead bodies,” Mr Ganduje said.

“We all believe that Okorocha is a bridge builder. Therefore not in our presence for a gentleman like him to be dwarfed and to be rubbished. We didn’t allow that calculated attempt to happen. Any gentleman will not feel comfortable if another gentleman is being manhandled. So we said NO!”

The Kano governor commended the caucus for organising the dinner and the Unity Rally for Mr Buhari and to rejoice with members of the caucus who elected at the convention.

Mr Okorocha commended Kano State for accommodating more Igbo people than any other state in Nigeria.

He said, “I must commend your state for being the state that hosts more Igbo people than any other state in the country. This shows your receptive and accommodative postulation. As far as I am concerned also my friend the governor of Kano State Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is a bridge builder.”

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