…As PYO coordinator boasts of victory
BY BENEDICT NWACHUKWU, ABUJA
Few days to the Special National Convention of the All Progressives Congress, indications are rife that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC Northern governors have settled for a northern presidential candidate.
A chieftain of the party revealed the decision for a Northern Presidential candidate.
The four northern APC Presidential aspirants are: Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (North Central); Governor Abubakar Badaru (North West); President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan (North East) and former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yerima (North West).
Sources within the Party revealed that the APC is considering North West for its presidential ticket since the zone produces the highest number of votes.
According to the sources, “since the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), APC has been jittery. But today, the northern governors concluded with the President that the North must retain the APC presidential ticket if the party must win,” he said.
The North West geo-political zone where President Buhari is from is said to have the highest number of voters, the reason APC is considering the zone.
The chieftain said going by what Atiku scored in the 2019 presidential election, it would be difficult for anybody who is not from the North West to defeat him.
Speaking, the source said, “you are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari’s zone has the highest number of voters.
“The Presidential ticket of APC is not for share but for somebody who can win election for the party.
“APC was hoping that the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike or somebody else from the South would have emerged so that APC can domicile its ticket in the South as well. But the emergence of Atiku Abubakar has changed that consideration.
“The President is also saying that the governors should allow him to produce his successor since they were able to produce theirs.
“To actualise the Northern Presidential candidate, the President has directed the northern governors to talk to the Southern Governors on the platform of the need to support a Northerner.”
President Buhari had held a meeting with APC governors before leaving for Spain on Tuesday.
After the meeting with President Buhari, they returned to Kebbi governors Lodge to continue their meeting. The governors, which numbered over 15 finished their meeting around 5:30 pm today.
Meanwhile, the screening of the APC presidential aspirants ended on Tuesday.
The screened aspirants on Tuesday include overnor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru.
Senator Akpabio speaking after the screening, said, “I think it is quite rigorous and the checklist is very good. At least they will be able to know the aspirants in totality and also get their idea of how they are doing to run the affairs of the country and take the country from the present level to the next level. The array of politicians I have seen there are people who are grassroots based. What the aspirants have for the progress of the country; security, unity of the country which is very fragile and the economy and bring much productivity, infrastructure.
On consensus, the former governor of Akwa Ibom said, “Well, you know the party is supreme.”
Senator Akpabio said, “Security is not something you discuss in the public but I believe that security is everybody’s business and because it is so serious, it’s not what we play lip service with. I believe a lot of stakeholders engagement, involving even the traditional rulers, involving everyone then building a coalition with our neighbouring countries will enable us and of course we must build Hi-Tech and most importantly, give these children the opportunity to lay down their arms and come back so that we can make them better citizens.
“Continuous drug abuse is also cause of insecurity because some of them are not doing it in their normal senses. Some of them indulge in tramadol and all that, some of them are lured by peer influence and all that. Some say it’s because of unemployment but you know criminality doesn’t have an excuse. We will do our best to get them gainfully employed. We will work on technology, agric sector. Let us not pay lip service to insecurity. Let us be realistic. It is not something that will end in a day but it is something that all stakeholders must put hands on the deck.
“Most of our youths have not been schooled, let us tackle that seriously, take our children off the streets. Everything you do with love you cannot go wrong, with love you will not be able to kidnap someone, with love you can’t behead anybody, with love, you will be able to provide them the best infrastructure.”
Speaking on the Screening, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, one of the supporters of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said, “He has all it takes to be President of Nigeria and we are ready whichever way it goes.
“They should just be fair, just and equitable in their organization of the convention at the moment it is fair and everybody’s able to carry out its obligation.
“In the history of Nigeria and primaries in this country, there is nobody that has campaigned like the Vice President did. We went to 36 states including the FCT, he did not just only take questions from everyone he stood up to answer those questions. And after doing so, he took photographs with every individual and each of the delegates present at those events. So you can see that he is determined and is prepared, and he has done his own work, and he’s not taking our Party members for granted. And he wants to let them know his vision, his agenda and what he will do, you know, not just for this country, but even for them as members of the party, if and when he’s elected. Yes.”
The Chairman of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo campaign organization, Senator Kabiru Gaya in his reaction said, “We are impressed by his qualifications and experience. He has been in the system for so many years as the vice president and he has acted also as a president. So he’s the most experienced aspirant in this race. We believe that he will be a candidate for the APC general elections and he is the only candidate that can beat Atiku Abubakar. That I’m sure of.”