President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday insisted that former Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Adamu should become the next national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The President also rejected the renewed attempt by three governors to change the zoning formula, which was agreed upon last week by the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF).

A section of the divided APC Governors Forum made efforts to stop the President from giving audience to their colleagues, who rejected Adamu and the zoning arrangement.

But, a few other governors with much influence prevailed on the President to go ahead with the session.

The division made the Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni to stay away from the meeting.

The President made his position known on his choice at the meeting.

A source said: “At the meeting, the President disowned  a fresh zoning arrangement proposed and presented by three governors and the names suggested for some offices.

“He reconfirmed the original zoning formula adopted by the PGF last week and insisted on Abdullahi Adamu as his choice for chairman at the convention. The three governors trying to alter the zoning formula were all crest fallen at the meeting today.

“Mai Mala Buni did not show up because he got wind of what was going to happen at our meeting with Mr President. Maybe, he didn’t want to be caught up in the crossfire of the divided PGF.

“The three governors included one from the South-East, another from the South-West and the last from the North-Central. They were not happy that their influential colleagues even got the meeting scheduled.

“They and their agents in the villa did everything to block the meeting from holding but they did not succeed.”

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) was led to the meeting at Aso Villa, Abuja by its chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.

It was also gathered that the Southeast Caucus of the forum was also displeased with the zoning of the office of the party’s Secretary to the Southwest, instead of their region.

Although the Chairman of the PGF, according to sources, had told the Southeast caucus to take the arrangement as it has been put together, telling them that it was too late to change, The Nation gathered that the governors planned to refer the matter back to the PGF during its meeting Tuesday night in Abuja. The President and the governors agreed that the convention should hold on March 26.

Bagudu said the governors met with the president to congratulate him for signing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and as well on the victory of the APC in some of the by-elections conducted over the weekend.

Other governors at the meeting included Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Sani Bello (Niger), Umar Ganduje (Kano), and outing deputy governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.

A pressure group, APC National Stakeholders, vowed to resist any attempt to impose Senator Adamu as Chairman (South) at the convention.

Addressing reporters in Abuja yesterday, Aliyu Audu said no individual can sit in their zones and decide who gets what in the party.