•Want VP, SGF, Finance, FCT, Works, NSA, others
•Boasts of region’s importance to electoral victory, game-changing status
Indications have emerged that just before the APC presidential flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, announced his choice of a running mate, Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai, led the presentation of a position paper by the North West caucus of the party to the him, asking for the positions of VP, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Finance, Works, Agriculture, FCT and interior ministers among others in exchange for its support to win the 2023 Presidential elections.
According to details of the presentation, the North West caucus of the All Progressives Congress, APC, asked the flagbearer and the national leadership of the party to yield to the region other key political appointments, including Office of the National Security Adviser, and the headships of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL; Bank of Agriculture, BOA; Bank of Industry, BOI; Department of State Services, DSS, and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.
In the presentation, the zonal caucus of the party noted that in view of the region’s importance and contributions to electoral victory at the forthcoming polls, all these key appointments should also be reserved for the area.
But the APC flagbearer went ahead and quickly announced his VP choice, while noting the other demands.
Currently, the north west region has nine federal ministers, representing the states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa. On policy focus for the region, the APC north west caucus demanded that the incoming federal administration must address security issues frontally, especially banditry and kidnapping in the region.
It demanded that investment in quality and affordable education, especially for the young and out-of-school children in the region must be accorded priority.
The regional leaders also wanted the incoming APC administration to focus on agriculture and development of brown field industry to support value chain creation in the zone; focus on infrastructure “as it is currently being done in the South West;” and leveraging the region’s opportunity cost in mining, agriculture, green and renewable energy for economic diversification.
The party leaders in the North West hinged their demands partly on the basis of the role played by governors from the zone in ensuring equity and fairness in power rotation, during the election of the party’s presidential candidate.
According to the document which detailed the historical analysis of the region to the party’s victory at presidential polls, the leaders noted that the North West zone is the game changer for the APC in 2023.
The presentation argued that the region contributed hugely to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria in 2015 and his re-election in 2019.
Comparing the share of votes across the six geo-political zones, the North West caucus stated that the region’s (APC) share of votes represented 46% and 39% of the entire APC votes in 2019 and 2015 respectively.
“The North West contributed to the electoral victory of the APC in 2015 and 2019 Presidential elections by winning 7 out of the 7 States of Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa.
“Indicative of its voting contributions in recent national elections, 5 out of every 10 votes for the APC in 2015 came from the North West, while 4 out of every 10 votes for the party in 2019 came from the region,” the document showed,’’ the presentation read.
Projecting ahead of the 2023 polls, the zonal caucus noted that the region, which contributed the largest number of delegates for the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate and boasts of the highest number of APC governors (6 out of 7), would naturally provide a base for any successful electoral operations for the APC, especially in 2023.