…polls 1,271votes out of 2,114
…As Nwajiuba’s brother defends his absence at convention
BY BENEDICT NWACHUKWU ABUJA
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has emerged winner of the Party’s Presidential ticket for the 2023 general elections billed for February .
He polled a total of 1,271 out of 2,114 votes cast by the delegates from the 774 Local Governments across the country as one delegate slumped in his hotel room and died while preparing to attend the convention. Number of voided votes stood at 13.
The closest rival, Amaechi polled 316 votes, followed by the Vice President, Prof Osinbajo who scored 235 votes, Sen Ahmad Lawan polled 152 votes, Gov Yahaya Bello got 47 votes, Gov Ben Ayade scored 37 vote, San Ahmad Yerima scored four votes, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu polled one while the trio of Pastor Tunde Bakare, Senator Rochas’ Okorocha and Ikeobasi Mokelu scored zero votes.
Asiwaju went into early lead and maintained it till the end of the sorting and counting of votes that lasted over five hours at Eagle Square in Abuja.
Prior to the election, the National Chairman of the party Sen Abdullahi Adamu had thrown up a statement that created chaos in the party and attracted diverse comments when he told the members of the National Working Committee (NWC) that the party had settled for Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the consensus candidate.
Tinubu’s support group reacted swiftly, rejecting it and called the party to call the National Chairman to order.
Consequently, the National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Mohammed Argungu, confirmed the statement by Adamu but noted that it was his opinion which was not discussed on the floor of the NWC.
Seven of aspirants led by former governor of Akwa Ibom and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, stepped down for Tinubu at the ground of the Convention. Others include Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Sen Robert Boroffice, Sen. Ken Nnamani, Ibikunle Amosun, Dimeji Bankole, Kayode Fayemi and Mrs Uju Ken-Ohanenye, the only APC female presidential aspirant who also stepped down for Tinubu, while Pastor Felix Nicholas, a United States of America based Nigerian stepped down for the Vice President, Osinbajo.
Tinubu’s resounding victory was over 13 aspirants who slugged it out at the Eagle Square, venue of the convention.
However Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the immediate past Minister of State for Education was conspicuously absent at the convention even when his name was called severally by the Master of Ceremony to present his manifesto.
His elder brother, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba in a statement after the convention said, “Many friends are calling to find out why my brother, Dr. Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba did not come out to address the APC convention.
“Simple, the understanding from the highest levels prior to his involvement, and considering his role in the founding of the APC, was that of consensus as was with the National Chairmanship a few months ago.
“With that understanding, the Presidential ticket was to come to the South, and the southeast.
“This has been the hope till the end of the negotiations. He, not wanting to be part of the Dollar and Naira bazaar, is convinced that what Nigeria needs now is no more of the same thing that has kept Nigeria at the low level it has been.
“Our challenges as a country cannot be addressed at the same energy level by which they were created
“God order our footsteps towards a better life for all Nigerians.
God bless you.”