• Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

APC CONVENTION: Presidential, governorship, other aspirants show strength

APC Congress: Oyo North candidates cries out over manipulated list

The National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) taking place at the Eagle Square, Abuja has provided a launch pad for Presidential, Governorship, National and State Houses of Assembly aspirants for the 2023 general election to show their political strength.

This is just a group known as Emefiele Solidarity Vanguard has called on the
the political class, the business class and the academia to prevail Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank Governor to take the mantle of leadership from President Muhammadu Buhari as he hands over power in 2023.

The presidential aspirants especially, have the Eagle Square, venue of the Convention adorned with their posters, banners, flexes and other campaign materials.

Notable amongst them are: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State, Godwin Emiefele, Central Bank Governor; Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation;
Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor; Rochas Okorocha, former Imo State Governor; David Umahi, Ebonyi State Governor.

The Presidential aspirants also have their supporters stationed at the various entry points into and around the Eagle Square, singing and drumming for them in both local and English languages as they dance to the rhythms.

There are also vehicles crested with the aspirants images with loud speakers mounted on them through which support songs are being sung with supporters who thronged them gyrating to the music in a funfair manner.

In another development, most of the over 5000 delegates accredited for the Convention have arrived at the venue, awaiting the commencement of voting after the opening ceremony.

Read also: Osinbajo scores APC high in infrastructure, agriculture

According to the programme of events for the Convention, the arrival of accredited national delegates was slated from 10am-1pm while elections into Zonal and National Offices started from 6:30 pm after other procedures.

While the Convention Planning Committee has not officially announced the actual number of delegates, BusinessDay earlier gathered that about 7000 were expected to vote during the exercise.

However, with only statutory delegates in the Sokoto, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Taraba States Chapter of party allowed to vote due to unresolved litigations, the number has been reduced to over 5000.

On the other hand, personnel of the Nigeria Police Force deployed to maintain law and order at the Convention had to resort to the use of tear gas to disperse thousands of party supporters who attempted to force their way into the venue of the event.

Correspondent observed that the main entrance to the Eagle Square was exclusively reserved for VIPs and statutory delegates while others, including accredited observers and journalists had to use the inner gate through the car park of the Federal Secretariat.

But that entry point was besieged by people not accredited to the venue but who wanted to gain entrance at all cost despite efforts by security personnel to turn them back.

The situation was however brought under control following some reinforcement from stand-by operatives and opening of tear gas which caused initial pandemonium.

Meanwhile, six National Chairmanship aspirants; George Akume, Tanko Al-makura, Abdulaziz Yari, Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha, Etsu Muhammed had earlier stepped down for Abdullahi Adamu to emerge consenus candidate.

BusinessDay earlier reported that the aspirants withdrew from the race in submission to the President Muhamadu Buhari’s request for consenus and preference for Adamu.

Their decision was conveyed in a letter signed by George Akume, former Benue State Governor and Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and addressed to the Chairman APC Convention Election Sub-Committee.

The letter obtained by BusinessDay read: “May I kindly refer to the appeal by Mr. President for the Chairmanship aspirants of our great party to agree to a consensus arrangement wherein our colleague H.E. Sen. Abdullahl Adamu is made our consensus candidate for the chairmanship position and foward letters of withdrawal from the under listed aspirants to wit:

“H.E. Sen. Tanko Al-Makura H.E. Sen. George Akume, H.E. Abdulaziz Yari,
Sen. Sani Musa Muhammad, Comm. Etsu Muhammed, Turaki Salifu Mustapha.”

With this deveIopment Adamu, former Governor of Nasarawa State and incumbent Senator representing Nasarawa West is awaiting affirmation by delegates at the convention as third elected APC National Chairman, after John Oyegun and Adams Oshiomhole.

At the time of this report, the APC leadership was working on unity list accross the six geopolitical zones where various National Offices have been allocated.

One of the party leaders told BusinessDay under the condition of anonimity that after getting a consensus Chairmanship candidate, work on getting consenus for the other offices was ongoing.

“After getting the six National Chairmanship aspirants withdrawn from the race, what we are doing now is to get consenus for the other National Officers so that we will come out united. We will finish that soon,” the source said.

Daniel Enyi, Coordinator Emefiele Solidarity Vanguard at a rally in support of the APC Convention, said as the tenure of President Buhari is coming to an end, the nation needs a very strong will, and ideologically transformed personality with justifiable evidence of patriotic services like Emefiele as the next President of Nigeria.

“We have identified Dr. Godwin Emefiele based on his sense of patriotism and commitment to duty, his genuineness in rendering service to the Nation as President Buhari’s possible successor.

“This is a project that all well meaning Nigerians should be involved in. We should look for our best brains and encourage them to take positions of higher responsibilities, Emefiele is being offered such by Nigerians,” Enyi said.