All the 23 presidential aspirants on the platform of All Progressive Congress APC, except one, addressed the delegates to the party Presidential Primary held at Eagle Square, Abuja, with a promise that they would make Nigeria better if they are voted as the presidential candidate of the party for the 2023 election.
In all, there were 2,320 delegates that are to vote for 14 aspirants, but the number of accredited delegates are less than this figure.
The minister of state for education Emeka Nwajuba was conspicuously absent and did not address the delegates.
Some of the aspirants withdrew from the race with some of them asking their supporters to vote for Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, secured the support of some of his fellow aspirants to get the party’s ticket as they took turns to announce that they were stepping down for him.
These aspirants later beckoned on their teeming supporters who stormed the venue of the APC presidential primary to vote for Tinubu when it was time for the election.
First of the presidential aspirants to announce his withdrawal from the primary to support his co-contender in the race was Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Senator Akpabio, who recently resigned his appointment as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, announced his withdrawal on Tuesday in Abuja.
He explained that he took the decision to step down for the APC chieftain in the interest of the party and the nation, and asked his supporters to pitch their tents with the former Lagos State governor.
The former minister was addressing a crowd of APC faithful comprising party leaders, delegates, and other supporters at the Eagle Square, the venue of the presidential convention in the nation’s capital.
Similarly, six other aspirants mounted the podium to announce their withdrawal from the contest for the APC presidential ticket and subsequent support for Tinubu.
They are former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; and the only female in the contest, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
Nicholas Felix, stepped down for the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to emerge as the party’s candidate in the coming elections.
Felix, a Nigerian pastor based in the United States, announced that he was withdrawing from the contest to support the Vice President’s presidential ambition on Tuesday in Abuja.
He was addressing a crowd of APC faithful comprising party leaders, delegates, and other supporters at the Eagle Square, the venue of the presidential convention in the nation’s capital.
In his speech, Ogbanaya Onu, the immediate past minister of Science and Technology while presenting his agenda said that APC has always stood on justice, Fairness and equity. But he said in view of the current development in the party, these tenants have been thrown overboard.
He asked the question “Where Is The Justice?’ APC Should Have Zoned Presidential Ticket To South East”
Onu stated this on Tuesday at the Eagles Square, while pitching his agenda to party delegates just before the commencement of voting at the presidential primary.
“What is very very important, exceptionally important, is that we must ensure that justice is upheld,” he said in his address.
“Naturally, it should be somebody from the South East that will replace (Buhari), and that will give the opposite South versus North and Christian versus Muslim a balance, and it will bring stability to the nation; it will strengthen Nigeria.
“The South West had eight years as president, eight years as vice president; the South South had eight years as president and vice president; where is the justice? Where is the justice?”.
He recollected how 23 years ago, he sacrificed his presidential ambition just so that two candidates from the South West could run.
He said that the presidential ticket should have been zoned to the South East and not giving the zone the ticket means there is no justice and no equity and fairness in the affairs of the party.
Pastor Tunde Bakare told the delegates that he was there to step down for anybody but to be voted as the 16th president of the country.
“I will work hard to solve the intractable problems of Nigeria; it is time to raise credible persons at the helms of affairs of the country. We need more than experience but genius to lead the country.”
He said most of the aspirants are candidates for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
Rotimi Ameachi, in his speech, told the delegate not to vote for him if they feel he is not qualified. He however said that he was the most qualified among all the candidates as he was a speaker for 8 years, governor 8 years, and minister for 7 years.
Ahmed Bola Tinubu while soliciting for delegates’ support said the candidate to be elected must the party victory in the next national election.
“I sincerely believe I am the person.
I am a serious man with a serious purpose. I have delivered electoral victory after electoral victory.
I will fight terrorism and insecurity to the very end… to erase terror from our land.
I am competent, confident and courageous.”
The vice president Yemi Osinbajo, was delayed from speaking for about five minutes by some youths among the delegate who were singing solidarity songs and cheering him.
When the noise eventually settled down he said that urged delegates to vote for him so that they can join hands with him to build a virile and prosperous nation.
He promised to give all women equal education, enhanced the activities of our military men, and ensure the exploration and production of the bitumen, Gold and other mineral resources to enhance the nation’s economic viability
Nigeria he said can be a great economic power globally. He told the delegates that their votes carry the answer to their answers while the future of their children compels them to vote right.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech congratulated the aspirants and admonished them to magnanimous in victory and also urged them to abide by the party rules and regulation
‘All the aspirants that lost and conceded should exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship and avoid acrimony,” he said.
He urged the delegates to follow due process in voting for their candidates