Former Senate leader slams APC zoning arrangement, says it’s not strategic

The former leader of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, has found flaws in the recently made public zoning of party offices within the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ndoma-Egba, who said the zoning arrangement was not strategic, pointed out that the post of National Party Secretary, which is very important, should have been zoned either southeast or south-south. , noting that the APC was not yet have a firm grip on the two geopolitical areas.

The former lawmaker said this during a recent interaction with reporters in Calabar.

According to Ndoma-Egba, “I saw different lists, one saying that the national secretary was zoned south-south/southeast in another list it showed that he was zoned south-west. However, the list supposed to have it zoned southwest is the latest, so that seems to be the one everyone assumes is the authentic list.

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“So for me, I think that when doing zoning, you have to have strategic objectives in mind. You must have goals of what you want to achieve. It shouldn’t just be a simplistic approach or a way to move offices from one area to another area. This is a very simplistic way and approach to the matter. You should be more strategic thinking about how you can use highly strategic desks to strengthen weak areas. Because at the end of the day, whoever the candidate is, has to win in those other weak spots or get at least a quarter of the votes cast in each of those states. So if you don’t have these strategic goals, you might get confused thinking that you’re just moving an office from one area to another because it was in that area.

“I’ve gone through the so-called authentic zoning list, I don’t see anything strategic. I went through the two lists, they are not strategic. It does not describe any strategy for electoral victory. Rather, it is the simple approach of moving offices from one area to another.
Let me give you an example. The post of national secretary is very strategic. You say you’re taking it southwest; the southwest is already VERY STRONG to deliver for APC, it is perhaps the strongest zone for APC perhaps, in addition to the north. The north and southwest are the strongest parts with supports for the APC. So looking at the southwest where the national secretary is supposed to be zoned, you already have a zone vice president, you have the speaker of the House of Representatives; you have five governors and then you have the Jagaban itself which is more than an area so the southwest is already sated with reinforcements that can deliver for the APC so the strategic position doesn’t add anything to them is like pouring a cup of water into a river. Now you have other areas that are wavering and you need to get either a majority win or a percentage win. For example, the South East has two governors, in Ebonyi State and Imo State. The governor of Ebonyi is a second incumbent governor. Imo State is a first term gubernatorial and has an incumbent advantage as we enter the 2023 elections.

“So in the Southeast you can say the party has a toe hold, not yet a toe hold, just a toe hold. Then you come south-south, the only state with a south-south grip for APC is Cross River State. But we recently had the re-election of Akpabuyo State Constituency and the re-election of Ogoja-Yala Federal Constituency, the numbers put together showed a very narrow margin of winning APC. So this means that if we are to retain Cross River State, you must strengthen and strengthen the state with a strategic position. Ordinarily, if you ask me for strategic objectives with the position of secretary, I would advise that it be given to the southeast or to the south-south. But as I said, the southeast has a first-term governor who has the advantage of being incumbent before the 2023 elections where he would be re-elected. The southern south does not have such an advantage, the only governor of the APC carries out his last mandate; so give it south-south and strategically reinforce the area. Use it to strengthen south-south.

“As far as I’m concerned giving it to the southwest is like pouring a glass of water into the ocean. It’s a total waste. So in my opinion the zoning is not strategic enough , it seems to have been a simple mechanical application of moving offices from one area to another.It is just a desktop activity.

On the apparent crisis at the national level of the party, the leader of the APC acknowledged that “it exists but it is something seasonal. After the convention, everything will pass. Politicians have answers to every crisis. They generate the crisis and solve the crisis themselves. I have no doubt in my mind that this will be resolved and we will have a successful convention on March 26th.

He expressed his optimism that the APC convention will be held as planned, recalling that in 2018, when he was secretary of the Party convention, “there is everything necessary to hold the convention March 26. I just hope that the party’s NEC meeting to be held in a few days can reflect more deeply on the need for strategic zoning.

“Overall, I believe the convention will be held successfully despite disagreements and counter-agitation. So, nothing to be alarmed for the mass of party members. I remember in 2018 as convention secretary the story was that the APC was going to implode even when I had a media interview session and said we will have a convention very peaceful, many found it funny but true to it as I said, we had a very peaceful convention in 2018. I believe the same is going to happen. By the time we get past the convention which is the biggest crisis we have, we would have reached cruising altitude, unlike the PDP whose crisis has just started. We hear the sparks between them. It degenerated into using inappropriate language for people in high office and becoming personal. It’s not about problems anymore, it’s about people, so yes the APC has its problems but I think the PDP has bigger problems, they are waiting for it too.

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