The stage is now set for President Muhammadu Buhari to, once again, fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate ahead of the 2019 general election.
Delegates attending the APC special national convention in Abuja yesterday affirmed President Buhari as the candidate of the party in the 2019 election through a voice vote by the delegates under the guidance of Ekiti State governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi.
The affirmation was done after the results of direct primary election from all the 36 states and the FCT were announced.
President Buhari scored 14, 842,072 votes from the 36 states and FCT.
This is as the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has assured the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the APC was ready for the presidential election.
Oshiomhole, while setting what seem like the ground rules for engagement, said that the 2019 election will be based on track records of integrity, issues and facts.
At the convention, after a voice vote to affirm the president’s candidacy, Dr Fayemi disclosed that President Buhari’s name would be sent to INEC for ratification. Chairman of the convention planning committee, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, urged all the delegates to affirm President Muhammad Buhari.
“We have a tested general who is complemented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and supported by political veterans.
“This convention opens yet a new chapter in our political space. This party today will again pick a time tested general in the person of Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate.
“He is the antidote of all political locusts, the machine gun for all the political mercenaries. He is the best president for the people.
“I call on all of us to reaffirm the greatness of Nigeria by endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari as a man to lead us simply because his records represent a man that can lead us.
“Let us not succumb to the wicked propaganda of our opponents; let us be steady and keep our eyes on the goal. Let’s join hands with President Muhammad Buhari and roll up our sleeves.”
On his part, APC national chairman Adams Oshiomhole, said “Sir (president) we are most privileged. I will give thanks to Almighty God for making today possible for us to be able to hold this convention.
“The purpose of today is to formally affirm the presidential candidate of our great party. But even before now we had decided with your encouragement that we will conduct direct primaries for the presidential candidate. We are very appreciative of the support you gave.
“You are the first president to be elected through direct primaries.
“When I saw while you (President Buhari) were away how party members turn out to support you, that meant everything. It means that we have moved from the era of deceit.
“Today we have a high number of APC members who came out to vote to nominate its presidential candidate.
“Mr President, this has been made possible because in under three months in office, the NWC decided to revive our membership register and it has been used to conduct election across the country. That is why we can vouch for the election that has been conducted.
I want to appreciate the governors and leaders of our party who have done all to ensure security in their various states. These primaries have been highly peaceful even though we had cases but those situation are under control.”
In their separate messages, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, promised the cooperation of the National Assembly , saying that the members of the House who are of the APC will work to ensure that the 14 million votes are tripled ahead of the election.
Speaking in the same vein, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, assured that upon reconvening of the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Senate will pass the INEC budget which is meant to finance the 2019 elections.
He also said that the loan request by the current administration will also be given accelerated hearing to forestall any government shutdown
Senator Lawan said the APC caucus will also ensure it pushes out Senate President Bukola Saraki with ignominy.
Saraki, who elected on the platform of the party to become the Senate President of the 8th Assembly, has recently defected to the Opposition PDP, and is seeking the nomination of the party to fly its flag as a presidential candidate.
While making a vote of thanks, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima predicted a landslide victory for the president and a defeat for the opposition.
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