The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which met in Abuja on Thursday, failed to reach a conclusion on the zoning arrangement to be adopted in sharing key government positions.
The meeting, held at the Rivers Lodge in Abuja, had the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the party in attendance.
It was held largely behind closed doors, as media men were not allowed at the venue.
Sources disclosed, however, that leaders of the party cancelled the much touted zoning arrangement, which was designed by a committee ahead of the meeting.
It was gathered that the meeting resolved that a seven-man panel would meet under the leadership of the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to resolve the issue of position sharing, while the team would share its ideas with the president-elect before the rescheduled NEC meeting to be held next week.
It was gathered that the meeting witnessed hot arguments from zonal leaders, who canvassed positions of their zones on the choice of Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and others.
Sources close to the meeting said Buhari spoke in favour of each zone agreeing to the choice of a candidate, to ensure less rancour, but that some leaders believed that such an arrangement may not work at the moment, having been truncated in the past.
“The meeting was inconclusive, a seven-man panel to be constituted by Chief Oyegun will look into the zoning arrangement and make recommendations.
“The team is to meet with the president-elect before the rescheduled NEC meeting next week,” a source close to the party said, adding that the committee would pick one member from each of the six geopolitical zones, while Oyegun head the panel.
Meanwhile, the president-elect was said to have dropped a bombshell at a recent meeting of APC, where he told the caucus that he was looking forward to the emergence of untainted and “unblemished” candidates to emerge at the top echelons of his government.
Sources told the Nigerian Tribune that Buhari spoke briefly at an interaction with leaders of the party, where the idea of those who would occupy strategic positions was discussed.
A source quoted the General as saying that he would not like to see any official of his government drive in convoy to any of the anti-graft agencies to answer questions.
Another source quoted him as saying that he would not want anyone with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) indictment or prospect of being questioned by any of the bodies to hold key positions in his government.
“The General was so categorical at the meeting. He said that he was ready to fight corruption and should not be encumbered in prosecuting the war through the emergence of some tainted candidates in critical positions
“In his words, anyone indicted by the anti-graft agencies or anyone who is currently being prosecuted by any of the anti-graft agencies should not be allowed to aspire to key positions in his government,” the source said.