Zoning Splits ANPP

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Zoning Splits ANPP

Post  nex on Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:47 am

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) is apparently considering September 17 for its national convention which was aborted on Thursday, following disagreement among its chairmanship aspirants on zoning of the position.

Even as fresh plans are being made for the convention, some of the chairmanship aspirants, notably former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, are insisting that the party must do away with the zoning policy which leaves the position of the national chairman in the South-East.

The party hierarchy had maintained that candidates from zones other than the South-East would not be allowed to contest for the chairmanship position in order to preserve the existing arrangement which saw Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke from Anambra State becoming the national chairman.

One of the national chairmanship aspirants, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, however, maintained that none of the aspirants was against the zoning of the position since it was the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

He told Saturday Tribune that Chief Oyegun could not have been against the zoning because he was one of the decision makers who came up with the policy in the party.

“They are saying that all interested candidates should be allowed to contest so that the best material can be selected,” he said.

The party’s official reason for the postponement of the convention is that its initial date, which is today, fell short of the mandatory 21 days notice required by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before it could hold the event.

However, a source at the party’s national secretariat told Saturday Tribune on Friday in Abuja that, “the confusion arose because of the ambition of some individuals who want to jettison the zoning formula when they know that the party chairman should come from the South.

Beside the disagreement on zoning, party sources are also insisting that there are external forces at play in the inability of the ANPP to organise the convention, citing in particular, an alleged involvement in the chairmanship race by two or three aspirants purportedly loyal to former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida.

“The idea is for them to pave the way for IBB to clinch the ANPP’s presidential ticket if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fields President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 election,” a credible party source alleged.

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