BusinessDay

2023: Groups buy APC presidential forms for Lawan, Sylva, Ayade

Some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday bought the N100 million presidential nomination forms of the party for Ahmad Lawan, the Senate president to end weeks of speculations on his ambition.

Similarly, Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, and Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State, also picked the forms yesterday to further sway the number of aspirants on the platform of the ruling APC.

Supporters and associates of the three aspirants picked up the forms on their behalf at the Abuja International Conference Centre.

Sylva has added to the number of ministers in the Buhari’s administration who have joined the race for the APC presidential ticket.

They include Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs; Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment; Ogbonaya Onuh, minister of science, technology and innovation; Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, minister of state for education, and Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation.

Receiving the forms from the Northern Solidarity Group for Timipre Sylva, the former governor of Bayelsa State said he would consult with leaders of the Niger Delta region and the party and swiftly convey his final decision to the group and Nigerians.

He said: “I feel very honoured and humbled for the show of love and this show of commitment not to me, but to Nigeria. I have tried my best since I was appointed by Mr. President to this office to do my service to Nigeria. But to realise that my efforts have been noticed by you Nigerians and that you will go and take the trouble of obtaining the nomination and the expression of interest forms for me is very humbling.

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But I need to consult my constituency and consult leaders of this country and then I’ll come back to you to let you know if I have taken the position also to run for this office.

“I thank you very much. So you’ll give me a very short time. I will start right away with the consultation. I will go to my leader, for example, the Ijaw Leader, Sir SK Clark. I will talk to him. I will also consult other leaders of the country and I will get back to you.”

Presenting the forms to the minister, Suleiman Abdullahi, spokesman of Northern Solidarity Group, said the gesture was based on the track record of the former governor which made him the best person to succeed Buhari

Meanwhile, Sam Nkire, leader of the delegation that picked the forms for Lawan while briefing journalists said “if the APC gives its presidential ticket to a Southerner and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) “gives to a Northerner, APC will go into the wilderness and we are not ready to go into the wilderness.”

“We are here you can see beside and behind me, senators and senior members, businessmen and politicians who are members of the APC and some other Nigerians who want a new president and a president that we are bringing for Nigerian people is a Nigerian president, not an Ibo president, not a Fulani president, not a Yoruba president.

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