ZONING FORMULA: APC DUMPS GOV AMAECHI

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• N’West, S’West to produce presidential, VP candidates 
• Gives party chairmanship to S’South 
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi’s hope of picking the vice presidential ticket of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC , in the 2015 general elections has been sealed by the zoning formula of the party.
In the party’s zoning arrangement, which Nigerian Pilot assessed, the South-South geopolitical zone where Governor Amaechi comes from has been given the national chairmanship of the APC, which effectively rules out the zone from any bigger elective political office on the party’s platform.
Political analysts say with the arrangement, the presidential and the vice presidential candidates of the APC cannot come from the South-South zone, thereby putting paid to Governor Amaechi’s alleged bid to become the running mate of whoever gets the party’s presidential slot.
Before now, there have been permutations that the Rivers governor may pair with Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State as running mate in 2015 as compensation for his many struggles and fights against the Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency.
An insider in the party said the Rivers governor had been promised the vice-presidential ticket if he crossed over to the APC to be the face and arrowhead of the APC in the South-South.
This, according to the source, explained the ferocity the governor had been fighting the Presidency. He is also believed to have injected massive funds into the party in his efforts to give it a face in a zone where the party would have naturally gone into oblivion.
“This zoning arrangement effectively schemes him out of the vice presidential bracket. If you critically look at the arrangement, you will discover that the North-West and the South-West zones have more prominent positions. This is a sure indication that the presidential and vice presidential tickets will be zoned to the two zones.
“The only thing left for the Rivers governor is the senatorial ticket of Rivers East, which I am sure the party will give him, but will he clinch the seat in Rivers under APC?”
Governor Amaechi has been in a running battle with the presidency over what many believe is his 2015 ambition to upstage the president.
To make matters worse for the belligerent governor, his preferred candidate for the national chairmanship of the party, Dr Sam Sam Jaja may not materialize after all, as more formidable candidates have been lined up from
the zone to slog it out with him.
With no vice presidential slot and his preferred candidate for the national chairman ignored by the party, the question is, has the governor reached his political end?
A member of the party’s NEC who spoke on condition of anonymity told Nigerian Pilot that it does not mean that Governor Amaechi has been left empty handed because “this is party and not an individual affair. The party will still find something for him either now or in the nearest future.”
APC Govs Forum polarised, party elders in disarray
And with less than 24 hours to the national convention of the APC in Abuja, the party’s zoning arrangement has polarised its key leaders.
At a caucus meeting attended by 37 senior members of the party, the zoning arrangement, which was made public, showed that the South-South will also get the offices of the deputy national secretary and deputy national legal adviser.
The South-West is allocated the national legal adviser, deputy national secretary and deputy national legal adviser. The South-East gets national organising
secretary, national auditor, deputy finance secretary and deputy women leader.
The North-Central has national publicity secretary, national women leader, deputy treasurer and deputy welfare secretary. The North-West will produce the welfare secretary, deputy national chairman, national treasurer, deputy national organising secretary and the North-East has national secretary, national youth leader and deputy national auditor.
The leading contenders for the APC national chairmanship are: Chief Tom Ikimi and Chief John Odigie Oyegun both from Edo State, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja from Rivers State and Mr. Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa State. Sylva is favoured for the office.
The struggle for the national chairmanship of the party, regarded as the plummiest job the party has to offer, has polarised the party along two main blocs; the governors’ bloc and the Bola Tinubu’s bloc.
It would be recalled that the governors led by Governor Okorocha opposed the choice of Tinubu on the party’s convention committee, which made Tinubu to storm out of the party’s NEC and based on that victory, the governors are said to have been emboldened to take over the party and dictate how the structure should be.
While the governors are said to be backing Tom Ikimi, former Nigeria’s External Affairs Minister and a henchman of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, the Tinubu group is favourably disposed to the emergence of Oyegun, 75 years old and former Governor of Edo state.
Source: Nigerian Pilot

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