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Buhari, Atiku, Kwankwaso gun for APC ticket as PDP crowns Jonathan


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AS the Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ratifies President Goodluck Jonathan as PDP’s presidential candidate today, former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd); former Vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Kano State Governor, Dr Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso are locked in last-minute manoeuvres to clinch the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket.

The two leading parties began their national conventions yesterday. While that of the ruling party is holding at Eagle Square, Abuja, that of the main opposition APC is holding at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan (L) and vice president Namadi Sambo wave to supporters during a presidential primary in Abuja, on December 10, 2014. Jonathan is expected to be formally endorsed as the PDP candidate, with no other challengers, for  next year presidential elections. AFP PHOTO   Buhari, Atiku, Kwankwaso gun for APC ticket as PDP crowns Jonathan JONATHAN SAMBO 1

Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan (L) and vice president Namadi Sambo wave to supporters during a presidential primary in Abuja, on December 10, 2014. Jonathan is expected to be formally endorsed as the PDP candidate, with no other challengers, for next year presidential elections. AFP PHOTO

Buhari and Atiku are among five aspirants angling for the APC ticket. The others are Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) and Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.

Unconfirmed reports said, yesterday, that Okorocha had stepped down for Buhari. A similar claim was made for Nda-Isaiah and Kwankwaso. Nda-Isaiah through his campaign team denied stepping down for anyone, insisting that he is still in the race.

Chairman of the APC National Convention and immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi dismissed as false, reports that any of the aspirants had stepped down.

Buhari, Atiku battle for delegates’ votes

According to online journal, The Cable Alert , 12 of the 14 APC governors have endorsed Buhari as their consensus candidate while Atiku is reaching out to the delegates directly.

At a meeting held at Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos, the governors who agreed to support Buhari are: Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), AbdulFatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers).

It was also disclosed that Kwankwaso has been persuaded to step down for Buhari, which he agreed, but will still put up an appearance without putting up a fight at the convention.

Atiku, on his part, is hinging his calculations on the fact that APC governors control only 14 states and their influence in the remaining 22 states is not strong.

It was gathered that Atiku has zeroed in on delegates from 16 states which his camp consider winnable: Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Jigawa, Taraba, Yobe, Delta, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Ekiti and Ondo as well as the FCT.

In Atiku’s camp, the calculation is to deal directly with the delegates, even from states controlled by pro-Buhari governors. With Atiku’s heavy war chest, the APC hierarchy is said to be jittery about the possibility of his victory.

This is coming on a day warring camps in the PDP are sheathing their swords and preparing grounds to present a united front against the APC. The party’s delegates, yesterday, ratified the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu (National Chairman); Professor Wale Oladipo (National Secretary) and Adewale Adeyanju (National Auditor) to enable them perform effectively in their various positions.

Rochas Okorocha, Muhammadu Buhari, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Atiku Abubakar and Sam Nda- Isaiah.  Buhari, Atiku, Kwankwaso gun for APC ticket as PDP crowns Jonathan APC candidates1

Rochas Okorocha, Muhammadu Buhari, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Atiku Abubakar and Sam Nda- Isaiah.

No APC aspirant has stepped down – Fayemi

Speaking on reports of withdrawals yesterday, Dr. Fayemi refuted the reports, saying he was not aware of such development.

“I don’t have any aspirant that has stepped down. I am not aware of any aspirant that has stepped down”, he said.

Fayemi also gave reasons voting at the APC primaries was delayed.

“We can’t be sharing space with Abuja people (PDP). We want Nigerians to watch them and see what they want to do, so when they finish their coronation, we will start our election”, he stated.

Buhari woos delegates, says he seeks united Nigeria

Meanwhile, Buhari has intensified moves to get delegates to his side. He wrote them yesterday explaining why he wants to lead the country.

In a letter he addressed to delegates, Buhari said that insecurity, corruption, and economic collapse have brought the nation low, adding that Nigeria’s current “multiple crises” prompted his presidential ambition.

He stated his ambition was not to fulfil selfish desires, pledging that he would evolve a new Nigeria where Christians and Muslims would be secure and safe to practice their respective religions.

The letter read in parts: “We seek a new Nigeria. It starts with us. It starts today. I have placed myself before you seeking your help to nominate me as your standard bearer for our progressive party, APC.

“Personal ambition does not drive me in this regard. I seek to be the next president of our beloved nation because I believe I have something to offer Nigeria at this time of multiple crises. Insecurity, corruption, and economic collapse have brought the nation low. Time is past due that we work together to lift Nigeria up. I am ready to lead Nigeria to its rightful future.

“I have always served Nigeria to the best of my ability. I have always tried to give more to the nation than it has given me. This is the principle of service that has guided my public life. Thus, I am not a rich person.

“I can’t give you a pocketful of dollars or Naira to purchase your support. Even if I could, I would not do so. The fate of this nation is not up for sale. What I will give you, and this nation is all of my strength, commitment, sweat and toil in the service of the people. What I can give you is my all.

“I do not intend to rule Nigeria. I want to democratically govern it with your help. I seek a Nigeria where Christians and Muslims may practise their faiths in peace and security; a Nigeria that is just and where corruption no longer trespasses into our institutions and national behaviour and a Nigeria where our diversity could be used for our national prosperity.”

Warring PDP governors, aspirants sheathe swords

At the Eagle Square, PDP governorship and senatorial aspirants who have been at ‘war’ appeared to have settled their differences, sitting together and conversing as the party’s special national convention began yesterday.

With the rapport, Lagos State governorship candidate of the party, Mr Jimi Agbaje, boasted that in 2015, the PDP will break the jinx and sack APC from the Alausa Round House just as Chief Ebenezer Babatope said they will start campaigns immediately.

In some of the pavilions, some PDP governors, who were believed to have worked against aspirants who later won the primaries were seen engaged in discussions, just as some who have taken over state structures were at the states’ stand with other opponents.

President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senate Present David Mark; PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, other Members of National Working Committee, NWC; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; PDP Board of Trustees, BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih; former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Bode George, among others left the VIP stand to join other delegates from their various states to vote.

They all voted in line with the party’s 2014 guidelines and the Electoral Act, and ratified the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Muazu; the National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo and the National Auditor, Adewale Adeyanju to enable them perform effectively in their various positions.

Before voting by delegates, chairman of the Convention Planning committee and former Minister of Defence, Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed in his welcome address declared that the Special National Convention was designed to properly elect three officers of the party including the national chairman, national secretary and the national Auditor.

According to him, the convention would proceed to elect the party’s presidential candidate today.

Muazu, who took over from the former National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was appointed in January this year by the National Executive Committee, NEC at its 64th meeting and would need to be affirmed at the party’s national convention; same applies to Adeyanju who took over from Bode Mustapha and Oladipo who replaced the former National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who came in through the March, 2012 National Convention.

At yesterday’ s convention, it was surprising that in spite of the parallel primaries conducted by the Adamawa PDP with one in Abuja which led to the emergence of former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as the candidate of the party for the 2015 governorship election and another one in Adamawa with threats of boycotts, Governor James Ngilari attended the convention. He sat with Ribadu and both were seen discussing heartily.

The governor was the head of Adamawa State delegates. Also with them were former Political Adviser to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak; former Military Governor of Lagos, General Buba Marwa and deputy Senate leader, Senator Jonathan Zwingina.

Ngilari had rejected the primaries which produced Ribadu on the premise that he had been unfairly schemed out of the race for the party’s for the 2015 election. The governor and Ribadu were later seen walking together to meet President Goodluck Jonathan inside the State Box of the Eagle Square.

By Edos News

APC Atiku buhari Jonathan Kwankwaso gun nigeria PDP ticket

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