•As His APC Chairmanship Candidate
Before the APC Convention took place last Saturday 26th of March 2022, at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the news was all over town that Pres. Mohammadu Buhari had a candidate in mind for the post of Chairman of the APC. And the name everyone kept talking about was Senator Abdullahi Adamu, his age-long friend.
Over the last 2 weeks or so, Pres. Buhari took time out to convince many of the Stakeholders in APC on the need to support Adamu. He met with APC Governors in Abuja. He met with APC National Lawmakers in Abuja and the Elders of the party like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It was a tough one for Mr. President as he made his case. Perhaps the toughest was how he convinced other aspirants to agree to step down for Adamu, one after the other, in accordance with the dictates of the new Electoral Bill 2022. So as Nigerians looked forward to the March 26 Convention of the APC held last Saturday, indications were high that the President has picked his preferred candidate for the post of the substantive Chairman of the party. Insiders revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the former Governor of Nasarawa, Senator Abdullahi Adamu at a crucial meeting of the party which held in Aso Rock in February 2022.
“President Buhari, at the meeting said that the party Chairman should come from the North Central and that the person should be Senator Abdullahi Adamu. And nobody disagreed with him,” the source said.
Although with presidential endorsement, all other aspirants vying for the chairmanship seat were expected to withdraw from the race, the aspirants decided to remain in the race till a few hours to the convention.
City People can reveal that the choice of Abdullahi Adamu didn’t sit well with many stakeholders of the party, especially with most of the APC governors, but the President had insisted that there was no going back on his preferred choice. The President had told the Governors weeks back about his choice.
The governors’ efforts hit brick walls as the president was said to have bluntly refused to shift ground when the governors presented their reasons against Adamu, who currently represents Nasarawa West senatorial district at the red chamber of the National Assembly.
The governors were said to have expressed their desire to allow all those that have signified interest in the national chairmanship of the party to be allowed to run which the President rejected
Eventually, it was decided that all the previous positions in the party held by members from the North-West would now go to those from the South-East; all positions that were held by those in the North-East would go to those in the South-West, and all positions previously held by those from the North-Central would automatically go to those from the South-South. Therefore, the position of party Secretary and Chairman were dealt with.
It was agreed, by President Buhari’s insistence that Adamu would be National Chairman.
Buhari’s preference for Governor Adamu is tied to so many reasons which are premised on the former governor’s successes in managing the People and Party.
Recall that it was Governor Adamu, who recently chaired the APC reconciliation committee that brought in the caretaker preliminary arrangement.
After the reconciliation exercise, Adamu had reportedly hinted President Buhari that the task has helped him to see the issues befalling the party and that he knows how to manage the members and conserve the sanity and integrity of the party. President Buhari has kept this in mind since that time.
While most of the over 20 APC governors were comfortable with Buhari’s endorsement of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, some of them quietly suggested that they should be allowed to play key roles in the selection of other important offices like Deputy National Chairmen for North and South, National Secretary, National organising secretary and National Legal Adviser.
Some of them who are rounding off their second term would not want the party to slip away from their hands and therefore want their preferred candidates to be chosen. It is all about the politics of 2023.
Who is Governor Adamu by the way? What is his pedigree politically? He joined politics over 45 years ago. He was part of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the Constitution for Nigeria’s short-lived Second Republic (1979–1983). Buhari was reported to have preferred him also because of his wealth of experience in Politics and his old age. Adamu is 75 years.
He was a pioneer member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the first Secretary-General of the NPN in Plateau State from December 1978, and Chairman of the NPN in the Plateau from 1982 to 1983, when military rule began again. In 1994, he was appointed to the National Constitutional Conference by General Sani Abacha’s administration.
In March 1995, Adamu was appointed Minister of State of the Works and Housing Ministry, holding this position until November 1997. When the ban on political activity was lifted in 1997, he joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP). In 1998, Adamu became a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
During the 1999 Nasarawa State gubernatorial election, Abdullahi Adamu ran successfully for the position of Governor on the PDP platform. He was re-elected during the 2003 Nasarawa State gubernatorial election.
In 2003, Adamu welcomed Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on a visit to Karu, where she was entertained by cultural troupes.
After the end of his two-term governorship, Adamu became Secretary, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In November 2009, a group of prominent PDP members stated that they would support his candidacy in the 2011 elections for the Nasarawa West Senate Constituency.
He joined the APC in 2014 alongside many governors and lawmakers at the time that the APC was being created.
The president affirmed that Adamu’s roles in shaping the constitution of the country, providing leadership in Nasarawa State and building political institutions remained outstanding.
He acknowledged that the experience of the APC stalwart would also be relevant in inspiring upcoming leaders.