It’s Buhari vs Atiku in a Two Horse Race

It’s Buhari vs Atiku in a Two Horse Race

We’ll Conduct an Issue-Based Campaign, says Oshiohmole President Muhammadu Buhari early on Sunday morning, was overwhelmingly endorsed as the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) by 14,842,072 members of the party across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at their convention in Abuja. Buhari who’s angling for a second term,

We’ll Conduct an Issue-Based Campaign, says Oshiohmole

President Muhammadu Buhari early on Sunday morning, was overwhelmingly endorsed as the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) by 14,842,072 members of the party across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at their convention in Abuja.

Buhari who’s angling for a second term, will now face his main challenger, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 1352 votes to defeat 11 other contenders at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt also on Sunday and a horde of other presidential candidates from other parties.

Although the country has 91 registered parties, not all are expected to field candidates for the presidential contest in the General Election slated for February 2019, which is now virtually turning out as a two horse race.

Already setting the tone for the fireworks with the main opposition PDP, which governed Nigeria up till May 2015, Buhari asked the party, what it did with all the money earned under its 16 year rule.

“Fellow Nigerians, think how much PDP Governments earned between 1999 to 2015. Think what they did with it. Infrastructure down! Security down! 18 local governments of Nigeria under control of a hostile army of insurgents. Reserves depleted! Bankruptcy around the corner. What did they do with your money?”

While thanking all aspirants of the party who stepped down their ambition to allow him emerge as the party’s sole aspirant and now its candidate, he said, “I thank you all for your encouragement and support, and I will not disappoint the people of Nigeria”.

The president paid special tribute to the party’s national leadership and its founding fathers and the National Presidential Convention Committee for organising what he called a perfect convention.

He maintained that the Federal Government was tackling corruption head-on, and it is also rebuilding the economy and developing infrastructure, saying that the APC was proud of its achievements.

He also said that his recent interactions with the international community have been very encouraging, adding that the international community was giving the Nigerian government the necessary support.

The 14.8 million votes that Buhari received from APC members in a direct primary was announced early Sunday morning by the Ekiti State Governor elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi who was the chairman APC Presidential Primary Election Committee. Fayemi had also chaired the APC Convention in Lagos in 2014 that elected Buhari as the party’s candidate.

The result was later affirmed by no fewer than 7,000 delegates from across the federation and the FCT through a yes vote.

The delegates were made up of three members from each Local Government Area elected at the party’s recent state congresses aside the statutory delegates.

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi described Buhari as the “antidote for all political locusts”.

“He is the insecticide for all political termites and the saviour of the oppressed and downtrodden, and the best president for the people,” said Ajimobi, also chairman, APC National Presidential Convention Committee.

“We are impressed by his exemplary honesty, sincerity and commitment to a greater Nigeria,” he said, adding that President Buhari has positively impacted on the lives of Nigerians in the last three and half years.

He called on Nigerians to vote for him again in 2019 to enable him consolidate on his achievements and take the country to greater heights.

Ajimobi said the convention had opened a new chapter in Nigeria’s political history and called on APC members not to succumb or be distracted by the negative propaganda of the opposition.

“We have a job to do, let us all join hands with President Buhari and roll up our sleeves for the task ahead, “he said.

Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman formally presented President Buhari to the convention as the party’s 2019 presidential candidate, amidst cheers from delegates and other party members.

“I hereby formally present President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of our party for the 2019 presidential election to everyone here and to Nigerians, and by the grace of God, victory shall be ours,” he said.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has emerged the PDP presidential candidate with 1532 votes. Atiku defeated Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal who scored 693 votes to place second while Senate President, Bukola Saraki came third with 317 votes. Former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso also scored 158 votes to come fourth, with the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwanbo scoring 111 votes to place fifth.

Others who lost out in the contest include former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi who polled 74 votes, former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido 96, former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa 48, former Minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki 65, former Senate President, David Mark 35 and former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang 19 votes while Ahmed Baba Dati scored a paltry 5 votes.

Atiku in his acceptance speech shortly after winning the PDP presidential primary, praised former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for the role he played in his development in politics.

“I wouldn’t have been standing where I am standing today if my former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo have not made me his vice-president.”

“Under his tutelage, I learnt quite a lot and I believe the experience and care I got is going to definitely impact on how we eventually govern this country, I wish to pay my personal tribute to him,” he said.

“Today, we are witnessing a landmark event. A landmark event in the sense that since the rebranding of our great party, the PDP, and infact I daresay, since the return of democratic rule of governance in this country, we have witnessed the most credible transparent and fair primaries.”

“Let me also commend my fellow competitors for displaying a sense of unity, a sense of purpose and a sense of commitment. This is a very rare event; my fellow compatriots have really shown that the interest of the party and that of the people of this country is paramount and more important than our individual interest.”

“I want to pay tribute to each and every one of them, assure you that I am ever ready to work with each and every one of them for the realisation of the victory of our party in the forthcoming elections.”

“I cannot do it alone, I need your support, your assistance, I need your understanding and I need your participation. It is not a one man’s job, it is a collective responsibility and I am prepared to listen to you,  to take your advice, consult with you, work with you and together, we’ll succeed and after we succeed, we shall all be partners in that success,” he said

Also Oshiomhole has said that with the emergence of President Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate for the  2019 election, it is now set to engage  the opposition PDP on issue-based campaign.

Oshiomhole stated this in his address of welcome at the party’s National Presidential Convention, which ended in the early hours of Sunday.

Oshiomhole maintained that with President Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate, it was now ready for the 2019 election, adding that the president had given a good account of himself as a leader who led by example.

He added that unlike some political parties in the past, the APC decided to elect President Buhari as its presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election using the direct primary mode to give all party members a say.

Oshiomhole said, “unlike the other party which printed only one presidential form and came up with 2 million signatures from unverified individuals in 2015, the APC chose a more democratic process, using the direct primary method which gave all registered party members a true sense of participation”.

He said that the APC would scrutinise the records of whoever the opposition party, especially the PDP brought up as its presidential candidate for the 2019 election.

This, he said, would be done with a view to bringing their past deeds to the public to enable them to make good choice.

“The other party is choosing its candidate in Port-Harcourt, we will look at the records of the opponent, we will look at his pedigree, we will challenge them on their track records,” he said.

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