APC Candidates emerge for 2015: Tambuwal, El-Rufai, others set to battle PDP

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BY JAMES OBUTE

 

The battle line seems to be drawn between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) as candidates for the elections emerged over the weekend.

 

Though the primaries are inconclusive as of the time of writing this report, APC penultimate Thursday conducted its governorship primaries across the country with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, emerging the governorship candidate in Sokoto as others won in different states.

 

The APC governorship candidates for the 2015 polls, as they emerged on Thursday, include Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and public administrator, Akinwunmi Abode(Lagos); a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); and second-term-seeking governors, Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).

 

Others are, a member representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Dakuku Peterside (Rivers); Olorogun O’tega Emerhor (Delta); Chief Okey Ezea (Enugu); a former Secretary to the Akwa Ibom

State Government, Mr. Umana Umana (AkwaIbom), Ibrahi Gaidam (Yobe), Umaru Al-Makura (Nasarawa) , Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) and Abdulahi Umar Ganduje, Deputy governor of Kano State emerged as the flagbearer.

 

El-Rufai got 1,965 to defeat Isa Ashiru who scored 1,379 votes. Others scored less than 30 votes each. The governorship primaries were held at the Trade Fair Complex, Rigachikun, Kaduna amidst tight security with 3,557 accredited delegates from the 23 Local Government Areas.

 

Akinwunmi Ambode, the man widely believed to have been anointed by Bola Tinubu, defeated his 12 challengers for the APC governorship ticket in Lagos. About 5,700 delegates from 20 local government areas cast their votes for the 13 candidates who sought the ticket of the party.

 

Mr. Akinwunmi polled 3,735 votes to emerge the party’s flag bearer at next year’s general election. Obafemi Hamzat took the second position with 1,201 votes. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, came a distant third with 182 votes.

 

Umana Okon Umana emerged the governorship candidate of APC in Akwa Ibom State as he polled 2,444 votes out of the 2,453 valid votes.  Udoedehe emerged second with six votes. Accepting his victory, Umana, who was declared the candidate of the party for the 2015 election, expressed gratitude to the delegates and promised to lead the party to victory in 2015.

 

Amosun clinches APC gov ticket with 3,554 votes Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State won the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 elections. The governor is seeking re-election into office for second time as 3,861 delegates voted for his candidature at the primaries, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Thursday.

 

Amosun is the sole candidate of the party for the position at a congress, under the supervision of the state and national representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), headed by Mr

Kehinde Mustapha.

 

With the presence of heavy security men within and around the venue of the congress, the voting exercise commenced at exactly 1:00 p.m. after the congress Electoral committee, headed by Mr Tunde Oladunjoye had finished accreditation.

 

Amosun, in his address, shortly after he was declared winner of the congress assured the people of the state that his election would poise him to do more for the people of the state and described the exercise as peaceful.

 

“What happened today is a demonstration to what APC stands for; we must abide by the rule of the game which says that primaries must be conducted.

“It is a call for further service to the people of Ogun State; they have given me the mandate to continue the service that we have been rendering to the people of

Ogun State.

 

“No one can do it alone, it will take collective responsibility of all of us, all the support you have been giving to us will not be taken for granted and we will continue to serve you better,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, the state deputy governor, Prince Segun Adesegun, has declared his interest to contest against his boss, Amosun in the 2015 elections on the platform

of the Social Democratic Party (PDP).

 

Amosun and Adesegun were jointly elected on the same ticket in 2011 under the banner of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which later metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC). He said his decision was not to fight anybody in the state but his decision was based on personal interest.

 

Ajimobi emerges in Oyo, Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday, emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2015 general election.

 

At the congress, midwifed by the Honourable Lumumba Adeh-led five-man electoral committee, Ajimobi polled 4,662 votes to defeat his opponent, Dr Ayobami Wasiu Adesina, scion of former governor of the state, the late

Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, who polled 22 votes. 90 votes were declared invalid.

 

Ahmed wins in Ilorin, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has won the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in the party’s primaries, with a total of 3,016 votes.

 

The delegates, numbering 3,025 from the 193 wards that made up the 16 local government areas of the state, cast their votes for the incumbent governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, the only aspirant of the party for the governorship seat.

 

Declaring results of the election, leader of the national delegation of APC, Azu Uwandu, said nine of the total votes were invalid.

 

In his remark, the political leader of Kwara State and senator representing Kwara Central senatorial district, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended the delegates for conducting themselves peacefully during and after the primaries. He advised them to continue to work hard until the governor and presidents of APC were elected in February 2015.

 

Saraki also assured them of support of the party for better development and prosperity in the state. Ezea emerges Enugu gov candidate, Chief Okey Ezea has emerged as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of Enugu State, ahead the 2015 general election.

 

Ezea, who once contested gubernatorial seat under the Labour Party (LP) and lost to Sullivan Chime in 2007 and 2011, emerged as the sole candidate, following the withdrawal from the race by his rival, Dr Ifeanyi Asogwa.

 

Delegates endorse Gaidam as sole candidate in Yobe Delegates at the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Yobe State, on Thursday, unanimously endorsed Governor Ibrahim Gaidam as the party’s candidate for the 2015 general elections. The decision was reached after an unopposed primary

election in Damaturu, Yobe State capital.

 

Addressing newsmen after the election, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Malam Babagana Tijani, said the endorsement was sequel to polling a total of

2,219 votes, cast to affirm his ticket.

 

Tijani added that the ticket was a reward for the governor’s performance in office, which had transformed the state to an enviable height in the country.

 

He commended the courage of the APC members for turning out in large number to endorse the governor, in spite of the security situation in the state.

 

He expressed appreciation of the cooperation, given to the electoral committee by the party’s delegates, across 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

 

Aspirant boycotts election as O’tega wins in Delta The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Delta State almost ran into a hitch on Thursday, as one of the two aspirants pulled out of the election.

 

Okenmor Fidelis Tilijie accused his opponent, Chief Emerho O’tega of campaigning at the venue of the election at Oshimili South arcade, Asaba, Delta State capital, before the primaries started.

 

The aspirants, who left with most of his supporters, described the ceremony as a charade, following the number of delegates, which he noted at the venue to

be over 10,000 as against 4,000.

 

Aspirants boycott exercise in Taraba over alleged favouritism. Three gubernatorial aspirants in Taraba State on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC)

boycotted the party’s governorship primaries, hours before the commencement of the exercise.

 

The aspirants, Ibrahim Tumba, Yusufu Akirikwen, and Suleiman Julde, while addressing newsmen at the venue of the primaries in Jalingo, noted that they hadsubmitted the letters of complaints to the national committee and copied the national working chairman of the party and other relevant stakeholders.

The aggrieved aspirants noted that they requested for the list of delegates but were not given till the time of the briefing.

 

Jigawa shifts exercise Reports from the state indicated that the state chapter of the party shifted the date, in order to arrive on a consensus candidate from among the four aspirants.

 

Primaries postponed in Benue, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, on Thursday, did not hold its governorship primaries as earlier scheduled.

 

The postponement, according to findings was not unconnected with logistics problem and also on the heels of the battle between state working committee of the party and one of the governorship aspirants, Professor Steve Ugba, who the party was said to have barred from the race. According to the press statement issued by the media adviser to the governorship aspirant, Mr Simon Tsuwam, he regretted that the same party in the state had denied the aspirant the nomination form, which he eventually picked from Abuja.

 

Tsuwam, however, wondered why the aspirant, who was screened and cleared by the party governorship screening committee in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, could be barred to contest the primaries.

 

The party’s financial secretary, Ajona Success Odey, who, however, declined comment on the purported stopping of Ugba from the primaries, told newsmen in

Makurdi, on Thursday that the one-day postponement was due to logistics.

 

“We want to use the opportunity to put things in place for a smooth election,” he said.Four governorship aspirants are expected to participate in the exercise.

 

Meanwhile, A national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, assured governorship aspirants in Lagos State that losers would be rewarded. He admonished the losers to support the eventual winner as standard-bearer for the 2015 election.

 

Tinubu, in his address delivered by state spokesperson of the party, Joe Igbokwe, described the day as historic and another steady march in democratic journey in the country, saying that it was a day members gathered to pick a candidate that would fly the APC flag for governorship post in 2015.

 

The national leader, who recalled that it was the desire of all the aspirants, based on the meeting he had with them, to have a candidate freely chosen in a fair contest, expressed the belief that such desire would be accomplished at the end of the exercise. He noted that all the aspirants had worked tirelessly towards the exercise, while enjoining them to remain as a family in order to put the enemies, who he said were at work, to shame.

 

While reminding them that only one out of the 12 aspirants would emerge as candidate, Tinubu assured those who would lose of reward, declaring that “the party would reward you all.”

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