Ahead of the June 23 national convention of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and a former interim national chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, and 24 governors of the party have endorsed Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the position of national chairman of the party.
Asiwaju Tinubu also affirmed that his reconciliation committee was still on track.
“We are reconciling; being here is part of reconciliation. What is politics if it is not about conflicts, conflict of interests and conflict resolution?” he queried.
On the reasons for the visit, Asiwaju said, “My presence here symbolises solidarity and unity of purpose to continue to build a progressive party that will carry Nigeria in a progressive manner, and ensure good governance, with courage and commitment.”
On endorsement of Oshiomhole, he added that “There is no doubt, I work with him. Why should I have any doubts?”
Among governors who visited Oshiomhole at his campaign office in Abuja, were Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Umar Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Simon Lalong (Plateau).
Speaking during the visit, the governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, noted that the former labour leader had gathered a lot of experience over the years that would enable him to contribute positively to the fortunes of the party.
Bagudu said: “I believe all of us are in support of Oshiomhole. All our colleagues are happy with this development. Our party is looking forward to the chairmanship of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.
“He has had experience in various aspects of national life and we are all confident that the party is a structure that is necessary for the continuous evolution and maintenance of democracy, and his collective experience in the recent past as the governor of Edo state, one of the most successful leaders of trade union movement and a democratic activist all his life; these qualities would be brought to bear in achieving the ideals of the APC. So, we believe he will be a leader who will be the embodiment of the spirit of the party and the experiences will help him make the party central to governance.”
“I am not the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum but I can tell you Adams Oshiomhole is my candidate for the chairmanship of the APC and is also the candidate of all the other governors. We believe that we have identified somebody who can do the job and it will be a good start and a good spirit to demonstrate by coming together and supporting the person who, I believe, is best fit for the job.”
On his part, Governor Amosun said the governors were at the campaign office to identify with Oshiomhole.
“We have come to solidarise with our brother. Do not forget that he used to be one of us and he is still one of us. That is why we have come to identify with him and, very soon, we would be going into our convention, and you know he is running for the office of the national chairman, so we have come to identify with him.
“I am not the chairman of the Governors Forum and so, to that extent, I shouldn’t be seen to be speaking for the governors, but let us just say that I know, for me and for us in Ogun State, we are supporting him and I know that most of us (governors) are in support,” he said.
Kano State governor, Ganduje, remarked that Kano had the largest number of delegates to the national convention, and said that, numerically, Oshiomhole had won the seat before the contest.
“Kano has the largest number of delegates to the national convention and, by seeing me here, it means that all the votes from Kano State will go to our candidate, the former governor of Edo state. So, in effect, it seems that, numerically, he is winning the election, before the convention”, he stated.
For Governor Akeredolu, there was practically no contest because the election had been won.
“Speaking for Ondo State, it is so clear even to a blind person that we do not really have a contest for the office of the national chairman and, as it is, when we come in full force, you will see where our votes would go if there is ever a contest. So, we are here to savour the office of the incoming chairman of our party,” he said.
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