2 Jan 2016

KINGSLEY IGWE

Search For Lai Mohammed’s Replacement Intensifies

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Barely two months after the former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, vacated his position, search for his replacement has begun, Daily Trust gathered.
An impeccable source within the party, who preferred not to be mentioned, said already some influential party leaders and political groups in the party have started strategizing for their candidates to succeed Mohammed.
The out-spoken former publicity secretary was recently appointed Minister of Information, hence making his former office vacant.
Daily Trust gathered that so far, some influential politicians from the South-south, South-west and the North have started preparing their candidates for the seat.
Among the contenders for the vacant position are Mr. Joe Igbokwe, Mr. Tim Frank, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin and Alhaji Bashir Hayatu, alias Gentile.
Mr. Igbokwe is the publicity secretary of the APC in Lagos State and is said to be the choice for South-west politicians, among them former Lagos State governor and APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was gathered that Tinubu and co plan to retain Mohammed’s seat.
Mr. Tim Frank is the current deputy national publicity secretary of the party. He has been a deputy to Lai Mohammed since June 2014 when the National Working Committee of the party was inaugurated.
According to a source within the party, Frank is said to be enjoying the support of some influential politicians from the South-south and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
However, Frank’s loyalty to Saraki, according to a party stalwart might be an obstacle to him in the race. He said: “With the challenges faced by Saraki, I don’t think Frank will emerge the next publicity secretary of the party.”
He also said that going by the current internal arrangements within the party in respect of positions, Frank will not succeed Muhammad without some adjustments.
However, for the Buhari Organisation, it is high time President consolidates the party by ensuring that his loyalist occupies the seat. In view of this, they prefer the former publicity secretary of President Buhari’s defunct party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, to be the APC’s next spokesman.
Fashakin has a brighter chance of becoming the next APC spokesman for some reasons:
One: he has been together with President Buhari and some notable leaders of the APC for a very long time. 
Two: he knows the job very well having held the position of publicity secretary of the defunct CPC for many years. 
And three: he enjoys the support of the Buhari Organisation.
Next after Fashakin is another out-spoken politician from Kano State, Alhaji Bashir Hayatu, alias Gentile. Daily Trust gathered that, Gentile enjoys the support of two strong politicians and national leaders of the APC.
A source close to the two influential party leaders, among them a serving governor in the North-west, hinted Daily Trust that the politicians are preparing Gentile for the job.
“The two leaders wanted to encourage young politicians to take over the lot of politics in the country, hence preferring Gentile to replace the former national publicity chairman of the party,” said the source.
Like Fashakin, Gentile also knows the job of publicity having served as director of publicity of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Kano between 2007 and 2011 and director campaign of former Kano State deputy governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Tijjani Muhammad Gwarzo, when he contested for Kano governorship in 2011 under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
However, Gentile, like other contenders, has some predicaments which political pundits believed might prevent him from emerging the next publicity secretary of the party.
Though in terms of paper qualification he is rated high by some political analysts, having obtained a master’s degree in political communication from the City University, London, he is seen by many as not a member of the APC and this could be a minus for him as far as the race is concerned.
Another obstacle associated with Gentile was his low participation in the activities of the party, an issue which some politicians predicted might have prevented him from succeeding Alhaji Lai Mohammed as APC national publicity.
But Alhaji Idi Bello Giginyu, a political associate of the contender, confirmed to Daily Trust that Gentile is a full member of the APC, having obtained the party’s membership card on February 2, 2014, a day after the commencement of the APC membership registration exercise.
According to him, the membership card with registration number KN/NAS/05029282 was obtained at Giginyu ward in Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Giginyu said: “After all, having been an active member of the defunct ACN, Gentile becomes an automatic member of the APC since his party, ACN, was part of the three parties that formed the merger to form what is today called APC.”

KINGSLEY IGWE

About KINGSLEY IGWE -

I've even gone so far as to verbalize it specifically, time is too precious to waste on trivial arguments and negativities. I'd rather get on to the more fun and rewarding stuff right away!

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