Willy Eya, Romanus Ugwu, Julian Taiwo-Obalonye, Tony John, Geoffrey Anyanwu
Over 7,000 delegates drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) converge on Eagle Square in Abuja, today to ratify the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, the party’s deputy chairman, Presidential Convention Planning Committee, said the committee on security was working closely with security agencies to ensure the security of delegates during the exercise.
He further added that three delegates from each local government in the federation, aside the normal statutory delegates, are expected to vote to ratify the president’s nomination.
He further revealed that the convention would commence at 2.00 p.m., adding that the transport committee was making arrangements to reduce to the barest minimum, inconveniences the event might cause Abuja residents.
His words: “We moved the convention time from 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. deliberately to accommodate delegates that are coming from far and near,” he said.
“Let me assure you that the nomination and ratification of the candidacy of President Buhari is a commitment to service, progress and quality change. The convention is a special one for the emergence of our presidential flag bearer; no other issue will be tabled. “In subsequent conventions, and the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings, other issues can be discussed and sorted out.”
While speaking on the crises that followed the party’s primaries in some states of the federation, Shettima said the party’s NWC was working to resolve the issues.
The APC Expression of Interest and Nomination form was purchased for President Buhari by the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors’ Network on Sept. 5, at the cost of N45 million, some months after he had in April declared his intention to seek re-election at the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
Meanwhile, protests have continued to trail APC primaries held recently in different parts of the country.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), yesterday, expelled the party executives in Zamfara State at all levels and overruled the suspension of the senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Ovie Omo-Agege.
The statement signed by the Ag National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, warned that by the expulsion decision, all supposed party factions in Zamfara State stands dissolved, adding that the NWC-inaugurated committee for the state is to conduct the governorship and legislative primaries.
“The Zamfara State governor, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari and the dissolved executives should not interfere in the primary elections in the state,” the statement warned. “The governorship and legislative primaries will hold from Saturday, October 6, 2018 to Sunday, October 7, 2018.”
In Kaduna State, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai on yesterday warned that the issuance of automatic ticket to Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial zone, will lead to the All Progressives Congress, (APC), losing the seat to an opposition party.
While noting that President Muhammadu Buhari was against the issuance of automatic tickets to aspirants contesting for elections on the platform of the ruling party, El-Rufai warned that if the National Working Committee (NWC), does not reverse its decision, it would be at the party’s peril.
In Delta South, four senatorial aspirants in Delta South on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC), have kicked against their exclusion from the primary without reasons, despite meeting all the requirements. They urged the party’s hierarchy to address the problem, urgently.
The aspirants, Temisan Omatseye, High Chief Michael Johnny, Evans Omatsoguwa, and AVM Omatsola Okorodudu (Ret’d), in a statement, yesterday, dismissed the Delta South senatorial primary as a sham. Noting that they paid the sum of N7 million being the cost for the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms, picked and filled nomination forms and followed every process before embarking on electioneering campaign, they decried their exclusion from the primary.
Also in Rivers State, the factional All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has vowed to appeal the confirmation of Engr. Tonye Cole, as the state governorship candidate by the party’s national leadership. Abe, who also emerged factional candidate of the party in a direct primaries conducted in the state, vowed that he would approach the appeal panel set up by the APC to nullify the confirmation of Cole.
In Anambra State, aspirants and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday protested the non-conduct of party primaries in the state. Consequently, they have warned the national leadership of APC against accepting any purported result from the state, insisting that no primaries took place.
In a joint press briefing in Awka, the aspirants led by three senatorial aspirants, Nelson Onubuogu, Azuka Okwuosa and Ebele Obi, the aggrieved party members told newsmen that the names of Senators Andy Uba, Uche Ekwunife and Margery Okadigbo and others touted as winners of the primary elections were false.