- Tinubu, Osinbajo, Lawan, Others Know Fate
- How Delegates May Vote…. Tinubu Still Candidate To Beat
Today, June 7, 2022, the ruling All-Progressives Congress (APC) will at a special convention choose its presidential candidate for the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election.
It promises to be keenly contested if the events of the past few hours are anything to go by.
At the special convention scheduled for today at the Eagles Square, Abuja, 2, 340 delegates would elect the party’s candidate.
Delegates across states are already on the ground in Abuja to partake in the process.
From the delegates tally released by APC, while Southwest, which has seven aspirants boasts of 411 delegates, South/South has 359 delegates.
There are 894 (336 plus 558) delegates from Northeast and Northwest respectively.
Twenty-three (23) aspirants were screened by the John Odigie-Oyegun-led screening committee. They are expected to jostle for votes.
Those screened were APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio; Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello and former Speaker House of Representatives Oladimeji Bankole.
Others are President/ Founder of Belemaoil and Belema Aid Foundation Tein Jack-Rich; Former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Ogbonnaya Onu; Cross River Governor Ben Ayade; Former Minister of Information Ikeobasi Mokelu; Former Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi; Former Minister of State for Education Emeka Nwajiuba and Ebonyi Governor David Umahi.
Also screened were: Former Zamfara Governor Ahmed Yerima; Former Ogun State governor Ibikunle Amosun; the only female aspirant Uju Kennedy; former CPC Vice Presidential candidate Pastor Tunde Bakare; Nicholas Felix; former Senate President Ken Nnamani (who has since withdrawn from the race); Deputy Senate Leader Ajayi Borroffice and Jigawa Governor Mohammed Abubakar-Badaru.
Drama surfaced on Monday when reports filtered in that APC’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had announced Senate President, Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party for the 2023 presidential election.
Adamu reportedly made the announcement at the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) on Monday in Abuja triggering a chain of reaction.
The NWC of the party however refuted the claim. Addressing a press conference on Monday evening at the APC’s Headquarters in Abuja, the party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu who was flanked by other members of the NWC said the reports were fake and baseless while adding that the issue of consensus was never discussed at the meeting.
Argungu disclosed that the governors from the North and South have all agreed that there should be a power shift to the South, adding that the NWC cannot do otherwise.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday afternoon cleared all doubts by saying he has “no preferred candidate,” and has “anointed no one,” and is determined to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
Speaking at a meeting with the Governors at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari said the party is important and its members must be respected and made to feel they are important.
According to a statement issued to that effect by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way:
“You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody.”
Earlier in their addresses, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of the Progressive Governors Forum, said they had come to affirm the position of the Northern Governors that the party’s candidate in the presidential election shall come from the southern part of the country.
They apologised to the President for the leakage of their signed memorandum which was not in support of any particular candidate and gave assurances to the President on their readiness to accept his leadership on the matter.
Meanwhile, the frontline presidential candidate of the APC, Tinubu, is projected to be ahead in the party’s presidential primaries slated for today in Abuja.
A number of factors make Tinubu the candidate to beat. The factors are nationwide recognition, reach, structure, support, endorsements, mass appeal, track record as governor of Lagos State, and rich experience in both the private and public sectors.
He has mentored politicians across the country, many of who became governors, senators, House of Representatives members, or were elected or appointed through his support.
Tinubu, as one of the APC National Leaders, has a profound influence on the key structures of the party in many states.
He also has the backing of more governors than his rivals. With governors having a tremendous influence on the delegates – three per local government – Tinubu can feel confident about emerging as his party’s torch-bearer.
In the South, the Southwest is the bastion of the APC. And, Tinubu is the clear favourite in that geo-political zone. He is also being backed strongly by most of the states in the North.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo may get his votes from Ogun State which is his home state and Nasarawa where he is believed to be backed by the state’s governor.
Former Minister of Transportation Mr Chibuike Rotmi Amaechi may get his votes from his home state, Rivers, and Plateau where he is being backed by the state governor.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi may get his votes from Ekiti, Jigawa where the governor is his friend. He may also get some votes from Kebbi because of his closeness to the state governor.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan is being backed by his state, Yobe and states in the Southeast.
Of all the contenders, Tinubu best fits President Muhammadu Buhari’s description of the candidate of his choice.
The President recommended a party man who must be formidable, who appeals to the electorate across the board.
Projection as of today.
Tinubu is projected to win Kano, Lagos, Oyo, Borno, Sokoto, Bauchi, Osun, Benue, Ondo, Edo, Katsina, Gombe, Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara and Adamawa states.
Osinbajo: Ogun and Nasarawa.
Yahaya Bello: Kogi
Amaechi: Rivers and Plateau
Lawan: Yobe, Kebbi (strong), Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra and Enugu.
Fayemi: Ekiti, Jigawa and Kebbi (partially)
Akpabio: Akwa Ibom
Ayade: Cross River
Undecided states: Delta and Bayelsa.
It is left to be seen how the events of the next few hours will play out. Whoever emerges as the APC’s candidate will slug it out with Atiku Abubakar, the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi, Labour Party’s candidate and Rabiu Kwankwaso, the candidates of the New Nigeria Peoples Party and others.