The sources said Shekarau’s All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) have formed a mega alliance and the pendulum has pointed to him as the favourite for the Action Congress candidature.
The party announced about two weeks ago that it was planning to present it’s presidential candidate to the world by the end of July.
According to sources Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau may be emerging as the chosen candidate, a strategic pin- fall aim at breaking the back of the ruling People’s Democratic Party.
The decision had been reached in one of the party’s top level national executive meeting while closed door decisions had been reached on high level of with negotiations by an alliance of some political parties.
Until now, all media spotlight had been focussed on Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as he had been assumed as the only man fitted to all the criteria put forward by the party about two weeks ago. The party had said it wanted a cut off point of 50 years as the age limit of of it’s Presidential candidature and the criterion was seen as fitting to Ribadu’s profile.
But the top echelon of the party was quick to dispel that Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was not the intended candidate as he is not a registered member of the party.
Last weekend, Lai Mohammed, the chief spokesman for the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] attempted also to dispel the rumour on the continued media spotlight on Mr. Ribadu, claiming that “Nuhu Ribadu is not even a registered member of the party.
He queried: How can we be considering him for the party position?”
Also, there had been back – stage rebellion also from a secret group which had attacked the assumed candidature Mallam Ribadu.
Tom Ikimi, a former foreign Minister under ex Military leader Sanni Abacha had led a protesting group on the issue of Ribadu’s political profile, denouncing any attempt to hand the party Presidential ticket him saying it was undemocratic having not gone through a party primary process.”
Mr. Mohammed had dispelled Ikimi group protest citing the same ground of Ribadu having not registered as a party member.
Also, Lai Mohammed reiterated on the issue of zoning on Tuesday saying that Action Congress would not select its presidential candidate based on any zoning arrangement.
Mr Mohammed said in Ado Ekiti during a visit by the leadership of the party to the state that Action Congress Candidature would be bvased on ability and competence adding that AC has pegged the age limit for its presidential candidate to 50.
“AC is not interested in zoning where the candidate would emerge from, but on ability,” he had emphasized saying: “Action Congress will not field any politician older than 50 years old as its presidential candidate in the next general election in 2011.”
Mr Mohammed added the party’s arrangement will throw the ruling Peoples Democratic Party into confusion, as it moves to draw in more youth into politics.
“We have a policy in place which will ensure that youth leaders are not older than 30 years. We need to move forward in this country.
“We need a president who is agile, a president who will be able to move quickly. People who are able to give their best in their prime,” he said.
“We want to take over the Presidency by 2011. We have been holding talks with other political parties because we know that those who we are dealing with are dishonest and are ready to hold on to power by all illegal means.”
However, sources have hinted EMNnews.com that Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau may emerge Action Congress presidential candidate as all arrangements have been made towards announcing his candidature on Friday by the national Chairman of Action Congress, Chief Bis Akande.
He is about 50 years and had been viewed as a nationalist who is at the peak of his political career.