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APC National Chairmanship: Security Agencies Compile Security Reports On Aspirants – The Nation

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  • Aspirants with corruption cases may be shut out
  • CPC caucus intensifies demand for slot as APGA joins the race

Security agencies are currently profiling all the 11 men aspiring to the position of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at its forthcoming national convention, The Nation gathered yesterday.

The convention may be held on Friday, February 25 in Abuja, according to party sources.

Governors elected on the platform of the party are to meet in Abuja today to take a decision on the convention.

The security report may guide President Muhammadu Buhari and party leaders on building consensus on who, among the aspirants, is best suited for the office.

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There were strong indications yesterday that aspirants with corruption cases might not enjoy the backing of Buhari and party leaders.

The caucus of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the APC is said to be pushing hard for the chairmanship slot.

Both the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) which were partners in the merger that formed APC, have between them produced three national chairmen of the party.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which also was one of the merger parties, has joined the race for the chairmanship.

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Some of those who have signified interest in leading the APC include ex-Governor Abdulaziz Yari;  Mallam Saliu Mustapha (Turaki Ilorin); ex-Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura;  Senator Sani Mohammed Musa; and ex-Governor  Ali Modu Sheriff.

Others are Sunny Sylvester Monidafe; Mohammed Estu; ex-Governor George Akume; ex- Governor Danjuma Goje; ex-Governor Isa Yuguda and Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi.

According to investigation by our correspondent, some security and intelligence agencies were involved in “extrapolating information on the antecedents, traits and tendencies of the aspirants.”

It was learnt that most of the aspirants are aware that the secret agencies were sniffing on them.

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There were speculations that some of the aspirants have had informal interactions with some of the agencies for what a reliable security source described as a “psyche” session.

None of all the aspirants contacted by The Nation confirmed or denied their profiling because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

It was gathered that the outcome of the discreet investigation could help in the choice of the new APC chairman if the convention is fixed at short notice.

A top source said: “The ongoing exercise is part of the preparations for the convention. In fact, it is the most important because we want to get it right this time around.

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“The profiling will enable our leaders, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, to guide us on the right candidate. With security report, we will have in-depth information on the aspirants.

“By the time the convention date is fixed, our leaders would have known the direction they are going. I am quite sure that key leaders of the party and governors have been consulting and considering choices.”

Another source confirmed that the President, his strategists and some party leaders may not favour those with corruption cases.

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The source said: “I think the affected aspirants with corruption baggage have been slowing down their campaign after gauging the mood of the Presidency.

“Initially, some of these aspirants undergoing corruption probe were in the forefront and flamboyant in seeking the ticket but they are losing the steam.

“There are one or two aspirants in this category who do not know whether or not to go ahead with their ambition.”

A party source said both CPC and APGA elements in the party have been trying to prevail on APC leaders to concede the chairmanship to them.

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The party source added: “The CPC Caucus, where the President comes from, has been seeking the seat in anticipation of the exit of the President from power in 2023.

“It has two aspirants in the race. They are ex-Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura and a former Deputy National Chairman of CPC, Mallam Saliu Mustapha (Turaki Ilorin).

“Being a strong merger partner, the CPC Caucus may displace the APGA axis which has presented its former National Secretary, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi for the office.

“The APGA leaders left in APC prefer presidential ticket than party’s leadership.”

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