By Bode Olushegun
Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in all the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Friday said that they had not advocated the involvement of the leadership of the party in the appointment of a new Chief of Staff (CoS) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement of the chairmen came on the heels of media reports that they had recommended that the party’s national leadership be involved in the choice of a new chief of staff for President Muhammadu Buhari, following the exit of the last occupier of the position, Malam Abba Kyari, who died of COVID-19 last week.
The Chairman of APC Forum of State Chairmen, Hon. Ali Dalori, who is also the APC Chairman in Borno state, in a statement issued in Maiduguri, said the clarification became necessary because, all the forum intended was to condole with the President over the demise of the chief of staff and not to be dragged into an issue of succession, that was completely beyond and outside the forum’s mandate.
Dalori said: “While thanking our friends, journalists and media house for the constant coverage of our forum’s activities, I am compelled to issue this clarification over a serious error by a national newspaper, in reporting our condolence message to Mr. President and leader of our party, the APC.
“Our message to the President was purely to convey our thoughts and prayers to him over the loss of his chief of staff and friend of over 40 years. In reporting the condolence however, it was erroneously suggested, that we recommended the APC national leadership to choose late Abba Kyari’s successor for the President.”
He added that: “While it was totally outside our mandate to be involved on issue of the President’s chief of staff, associating us with such matter at a time the President and the country was at the peak of bereavement, tended to present the forum of APC chairmen as being highly insensitive to the mood of the President, our party and the country.”
He said: “In addition, we also know a vacant office of chief of staff is not one, that the constitution mandates immediate replacement hence, there was never a basis for hurry.”
Dalori added that as party chairmen with many years in grassroots and national politics, “the forum is experienced enough to recognize that appointment of chief of staff, being the closest and most senior personal aide, is normally the exclusive privilege of a President and no one ever gets involved whether in Nigeria or in developed democracies.”
He promised that: “All the party chairmen will remain 100% loyal to the President, and (after the mourning period), we will support whoever Mr. President eventually choses as his new chief of staff, whether the choice is from the south or north, and whether he or she is a Muslim or Christian.”