Former Lagos state Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has emerged as the flag bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), for the 2023 general election.

Tinubu, the national leader of the party, scored 1,271 votes to defeat 14 other contestants, at the APC Special Convention (Presidential Primary) 2022, held at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Buhari and Osinbajo

Among those he defeated are former Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi (316 votes), Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (235 votes), Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawal (152 votes), Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (47 votes),  Eboyin state Governor, Engr. David Umuahi (38 votes) and Cross River state Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade (37).

 

Tinubu and Bello at the venue

Others are former Zamfara state Governor, Senator Ahmed Yarima (4 votes), Mr. Ahmed Rufai (4 votes), former Minister of state for Education, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nwajuba (1) votes), former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (1), former Imo state Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha (0), President/Founder of Belemaoil and Belema Aid Foundation, Mr. Tein Jack-Rich (0), Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare (0) and Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu (0).

Tinubu, going to address delegates

Seven aspirants, Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) as well as former Ogun state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, Senator Ajayi Borrofice, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole and Mrs. Uju Ken-Ohanenye had stepped down for Tinubu, before the commencement of voting.

Buhari and his wife, Aisha at the convention

Out of the 23 aspirants, Pastor Nicolas Felix stepped down for Osinbajo, while former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani announced his withdrawal from the race.

Amaechi

Nwajiuba did not show up when called upon to address the delegates and his elder brother, Prof. Chinedu Nwajiuba, said his absence was in protest over alleged betrayal by the leadership of the party.

Nwajiuba

The immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Ndufu, Ebonyi, stated in a statement that, “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 South East.

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APC National Chairman, Senator Abdulahi Adamu (right) with former Chairmen, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

“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,” he added.

Tinubu, while soliciting the votes of delegates, said he was “the person this moment calls for.

“I have the experience. I led the transformation of Lagos from a dangerous, unwelcoming place in 1999, to a clean, safe, and vibrant place and the 5th largest economy in all of Africa. I am a serious man with a serious purpose and I will use all that I know and all of my abilities to the benefit of the people.

Ogun State delegates at the convention

“I am a unifying leader. I have constructed a formidable political structure, one that has delivered electoral victory after electoral victory. I do not now put myself forward because I think this nomination is my due. I step forward because I believe I can lead our party towards its brightest future.

“I have the expertise. My record of corporate leadership, my financial expertise and my experience as an executive governor make me unique among the aspirants; giving me the requisite skills to accelerate progressive reforms that will change the face of the national economy.

“I cannot, on this day, talk of a bright and prosperous future without also declaring my determination to fight terrorism and insecurity to the very end. I mourn the lives already lost and vow to do everything possible to ensure justice and forever erase terror from our land.

“Today, you decide our presidential nominee. Let it be the man who can best articulate a vision of progress and development then implement it. Let us always honour the promise the APC made to Nigeria.

“I humbly ask that you nominate me as the party’s presidential candidate. Together we shall forge an even better party and a greater Nigeria, Tinubu stated.

A delegate, casting her vote

President Muhammadu Buhari in his address, had admonished delegates to avoid acrimony and maintain the spirit of sportsmanship.
”I enjoin you all to be fair to all and to create a level playing field for all the presidential aspirants in the coming crucial party exercise.

Buhari

”We must choose a knowledgeable, fair-minded nationalist with a very strong belief in the unity of our Nation, Nigeria, and strength of character and purpose to steer the country forward. We should not allow the PDP to drag the country,” he said.

L-R Lawan, Osinbajo and Buhari

He had congratulated all party members who emerged flag bearers, so far, for the 2023 general elections and urge them to be magnanimous in victory, particularly towards fellow aspirants who conceded to them, urging them to at all times, abide by the party rules and follow party reconciliation processes.

”In every competitive event, there are bound to be winners and runners-up; and as such, all the aspirants who lost or conceded at the primaries, I equally urge you to maintain the spirit of sportsmanship and to stand by our great party for the next challenges ahead, the president said.