Baring unforeseen circumstances, a governor of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the South East zone may emerge the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, PGF.
The PGF is an association of State Governors elected on the platform of the APC.
The outgoing Chairman of the PGF, is Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.
The powerful group had played an influential role in ensuring that the Southern part of the country produced the presidential candidate of the APC, which led to the emergence of Bola Tinubu, as the party’s Presidential candidate.
The “zoning” of the position of PGF Chairmanship to the South East, sources say, is part of a wider calculation by top bigwigs of the party to “appease” the South East after the zone lost the position of Senate President to the South- South.
Last week, the National Working Committee, NWC, of the governing party zoned the Senate President to the South- South zone, micro zoning the position to former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and ex Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio.
Top contenders for the position of Senate President from the South East such as Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, kicked against the zoning of the Senate President to the South- South.
Orji had stormed the APC National Secretariat in Abuja where he expressed his displeasure to the choice of Akpabio as Senate President, insisting that the South East deserves the number three position in the country.
Aside Orji, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF also kicked against the nomination of Akpabio as the next Senate President.
Yerima Shettima, AYCF President said the South East can produce a competent Senate President, urging the APC to encourage national unity by reviewing Akpabio’s nomination.
The APC NWC had conceded the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to the South East. It nominated Hon Ben Kalu from Abia State as it’s preffered choice for the position.
A top source in the party told this newspaper that the PGF position will be conceded to the South East zone, as a part of measures to “placate” the region.
“One of the governors of the party in the South East will head the PGF. And we are hopeful he will live up to expectations because he has remained a devoted, committed and unrepentant party member.
“The Party is not leaving out the South East as wrongly peddled by some negative elements.
“The South East is part of the APC. And this is why in addition to the position of Deputy Speaker conceded to the region, it will also get the powerful position of PGF” the source said.
APC currently have two State governors in the South East. Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Senator Hope Uzodimma of Imo State.
Umahi has completed his two terms of eight years as governor and won his election to the Senate.
Governor Uzodimma is seeking re election for a second term in office in the November 11, 2023 governorship election.
Former Imo State Governor, now Senator, Rochas Okorocha was one time Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF.