After over 48 hours of anticipation, Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor, was declared the winner of the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general election.
The former governor was presented with the party’s flag on Wednesday in front of a crowd of politicians, delegates and journalists at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
He secured almost four times the votes garnered by Rotimi Amaechi, former transportation minister, who placed second with 316 votes.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo finished a distant third with 235 votes, followed by Ahmad Lawan, president of the senate, who got 152 votes; while Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, had 47 votes.
During the build-up to the presidential primary, 28 aspirants bought APC’s nomination and expression of forms, but only 23 of the presidential hopefuls appeared before the screening committee.
On Monday, Ken Nnamani, former senate president, was the first screened aspirant to step down from the race. He lamented not having “the opportunity to market my profile and ideas to the delegates”.
Meanwhile, during their presentation to delegates on Wednesday, seven aspirants — Godswill Akpabio, former minister of Niger Delta affairs; Ibikunle Amosun, former Ogun governor; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti governor; Dimeji Bankole, former speaker of the house of representatives; Muhammad Badaru, Jigawa governor; Ajayi Boroffice, senator representing Ondo north; and Uju Ohanenye, the only female APC aspirant — all stepped down for Tinubu.
However, Nicholas Felix, a US-based Nigerian pastor of the Miracle Church International, withdrew from the race and asked his supporters to back Osinbajo.
Eventually, the names of 14 aspirants were listed as participants in the primary, and four of them failed to register at least one vote in the contest.
PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS WHO GOT NO VOTE
After weeks of being embroiled in controversy over his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N2.9 billion fraud, Okorocha, senator representing Imo west and former Imo governor, was placed on N500 million bail. His presence at the primary, however, failed to sway any delegate to his path.
The former Imo governor had, before the primary, said he was the only aspirant who could secure millions of votes to win the presidency for the APC.
“The PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is someone that had contested election with our president and was an APC member and he polled substantial votes. What APC needs is the man that can poll similar votes in the north to be able to defeat him. Anything outside this that goes with sentiment will mean failure for us,” he said.
“This is what we should know. Who is that person among the APC aspirants that can get sufficient votes in the north because PDP’s only strategy is the northern votes. We might not have President Buhari on the ballot because most people that won elections on the platform of the APC in previous elections did so because of President Buhari. Now, such privilege is no more there. So, you have to look for that man that people will look at and vote for, and I am that man.”
Bakare, the serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, also had zero votes at the primary.
While addressing the delegates at the venue, Bakare pledged not to withdraw for any aspirant, adding that he was confident about becoming the country’s next president.
“I am not here to step down for anyone. I am here to step up as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
The oil magnate also did not poll any vote, despite taking listeners on an emotional journey into his humble beginnings while making his presentation at the primary.
The former minister of information was the fourth aspirant to tally up zero votes in the contest. His long eulogy to President Muhammadu Buhari during the primary did not help his chances, apparently.
Source: Top Stories
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