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Governor Sule seeks stronger, united APC as North Central stakeholders demand for more infrastructure, appointments

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By our reporter

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has appealed to stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the North Central geopolitical zone to mend fences, unite with a view to making the party stronger.

Governor Sule made the appeal during the maiden North Central APC stakeholders meeting which held at the Lafia Government House on Saturday.

This is just as APC stakeholders from the zone demanded for more infrastructure and top appointments from the Federal Government, considering the strategic role being played by the North Central both politically, economically and otherwise.

According to Governor Sule, with the North Central being among the geopolitical zones having 5 out of the 6 state governors belonging to the APC, the zone stands to benefit more once there is unity within the party.

“Once we truly unite and work as a united party, then we will be able to get more for our people. Our dear members of the APC, let us take APC at the grassroots, at the state level, and APC at the national level to our hearts. We can not be APC in one part of the country and be another party in another part of the country. That is what is hurting us here in the North Central part. We must be sincere, come together and rebuild our differences and build the party because whatever is meant for you will come to you,” he stated.

Chairman of the APC North Central stakeholders and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the meeting provides the opportunity for leaders of the zone to review issues of development during the past one year.

Abdulrazaq, who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF), said the meeting provides the platform for both President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to show appreciation to the people of the North Central geopolitical zone for their support to the party and government during and after the 2023 general election.

“This event is also an opportunity to interact with leaders of the party across the country for the purpose of reviewing development in the last one year, recognizing our structures and reconciling and assuring our old and new members about the greater prospects of our party and projecting into the future,” the Kwara Governor said.

He acknowledged that the people of the zone are yearning for more in terms of democratic dividends.

“As leaders, we are aware of the calls for improvement in the reward system within our party both at national and subnational levels. As the region with the third largest votes for the President as well as a good representation at the national assembly, the sentiments of our people are that we deserve more. We have raised these concerns with the President, who is a democrat and is quite receptive to our suggestions,” he said.

Abdulrazaq however called for patience, urging the stakeholders to continue to support the President and party, while efforts are ongoing to secure more appointments and projects for the zone.

The meeting had in attendance political heavy weights from the zone including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, four APC Governors namely AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara); Engineer Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Ahmed Usman Ododo (Kogi) and Hyacinth Alia (Benue).

Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umar Bago was also represented at the event, which also drew several senators, House of Representatives members, ministers, House of Assembly members, former governors including Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Umaru Tanko Al-makura, as well as senior party executives from across the region.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the APC National Chairman Dr. Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje, and National Secretary of the party, Dr. Bashiru Ajibola.

While commending President Tinubu for his impressive handling of national issues, including the reforms which the stakeholders observed would enhance sustainable development, the leaders called for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission (NCDC) to tackle issues affecting the region, particularly huge infrastructural deficits, banditry and other violent crimes which they said are a big drawback on subsistence and large scale farming, and the perennial flooding which continues to haunt the region.

The stakeholders also called for the dredging of the River Niger, resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Mill in Lokoja, respect for the rights of the APC lawmakers in Plateau under the law, and more top appointments for party loyalists from the region.

In his speech, Senator George Akume commended the initiative to bring APC leaders together for a common agenda of growth, saying President Tinubu values the contributions of the party in the region and will do more to reward their loyalty.

The SGF also said many infrastructural projects are in the pipeline for the region, adding that the President is already addressing some lopsidedness observed in some recent appointments.

He said massive works will begin soon on some road projects, including Makurdi Enugu, Akwanga to Jos, Lokoja to South West, some road projects within Kwara axis, among others.

On his part, the National Chairman of the APC, Ganduje highlighted on the ongoing reforms within the party which gave birth to the zonal stakeholders meetings across the country, meant to ginger activities within the party.

“This meeting is as a result of the reform system that we have effected in the party. It is our intention that our party should be active throughout the year. Not only to be active during election,” he said.

He disclosed that the party has also established the Progressive Institute to train leaders and members on key democratic principles and drive progressive policies.

“I want to thank the Governor of Nasarawa State for this excellent organization. The quality of members of the stakeholders is very high. The meeting is fantastic. I thank you for that. First of all, I have to thank the North Central geopolitical zone for inviting and our members of the NWC to attend this first geopolitical zone stakeholders meeting,” Ganduje added.

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