Says presidential primary most competitive, peaceful in nation’s history
*Buhari a dependable leader, says Tinubu
*Adamu, NWC members pledge to work hard to deliver candidate
*Northern APC governors visit standard-bearer, as search for running mate begins
*Osinbajo, Jonathan congratulate ex-Lagos governor
Deji Elumoye, Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
In his first public statement on the presidential primary of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, declared that the winner, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had the skills and track record to lead the ruling party to victory at the polls next year. Buhari stated this in a letter to the returning officer of the APC presidential primary convention and governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, commending the success of the exercise.
The president, who later hosted Tinubu, said the APC presidential primary was one of the most competitive and peaceful in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.
Buhari’s comments as came the APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and members of the party’s National Working Committee (APC) visited Tinubu and pledged to work together to deliver him in the 2023 presidential poll.
APC governors from the northern geopolitical zones also paid a congratulatory visit to Tinubu, in an apparent signal of the start of intense search for a running mate that would help the party win next year’s election.
The forum of former Deputy Governors of Nigeria, who were members of APC, said they trusted the leadership of the party and Tinubu to decide on the best running mate that would serve the interest of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, joined other prominent personalities from around the world to congratulate Tinubu on his victory at the just concluded presidential primary of APC.
Buhari, in the letter he personally signed and addressed to Bagudu, who is also the chairman of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), commended the role the Kebbi State governor played in the success of the primary election that produced Tinubu.
He asked members of the party to close ranks and work conscientiously for the success of the APC presidential candidate in the February 2023 poll, saying he looks forward to working closely with all the 22 APC governors to ensure Tinubu’s victory.
The president stated that the party’s standard-bearer had the capacity, commitment, and particularly enviable track record of leading APC to electoral victory. He said the APC project was far from over “and we need all of you to come together to ensure our progressive journey to peace and prosperity is sustained.”
The letter read, “I was pleased to see how you were very professional and efficient in handling the sensitive political position of Chairman Progressives Governors Forum.
“Your commitment in pursuit of equity and fairness speaks volumes in the cooperation displayed by APC governors. This, indeed, demonstrates the camaraderie that brought us together over eight years ago.
“The party primaries were peacefully conducted and the delegates have selected the candidate to carry the APC flag in the 2023 presidential election.
“Today, as a patriotic APC member and stakeholder, I trust that you will come together to work with our candidate to win the 2023 elections.
“In the past seven years in government, we have achieved a lot. However, we have a lot more to do. The APC project is far from over and we need all of you to come together to ensure our progressive journey to peace and prosperity is sustained.
“Our candidate, His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is no stranger to you. He is our friend and brother. We know his commitment, his track record, and his capacity to lead our party to success. So, now is the time for all of us to come together and march forward, as we did in 2015, to a convincing APC victory.
“I look forward to working closely with APC governors to support Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all our APC candidates to success in 2023.
“While I wish our great party success in the 2023 elections, please, accept the assurances of my consideration and personal regards.”
Buhari played host to Tinubu, Thursday night, at the State House, Abuja. He received the presidential candidate at his official residence about 8.30pm.
The former Lagos State governor, who emerged victorious at the APC presidential primary in Abuja on Wednesday, was accompanied on the appreciative visit to Buhari by the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Oando Oil Plc, Wale Tinubu.
Tinubu was at the villa to thank the president for his support and successful hosting of the APC presidential primary. He vowed to sustain Buhari’s legacies if elected president.
Commending Buhari for helping to ensure a level playing field for contestants at the primary election, Tinubu said, “He promised the whole country and the world that he will build a legacy of transparency and consistency. Legacy of a level playing ground for all the aspirants. He will be committed to democratic principles and values. And he did so.
“He didn’t endorse anybody, he didn’t impose anybody, he did not, at any time, attempt to tinker with the process of this election to favour one tribe or the other. He was steadfast, he was trustworthy, he was dependable, he was a leader.”
On his selling point ahead of the 2023 election, Tinubu said he was clear-minded on his mission and possessed a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors. He said he was “ready to hit the ground running same day and not mess up the legacy of progress and honesty that is left behind for me and handed over to me by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Adamu, NWC Members Pledge to Work Hard to Deliver Tinubu
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, visited the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to congratulate him and give assurances that the party leadership would work diligently to deliver him as president.
Adamu said during the visit, “We are here visiting you to join you in thanking God for giving you to us and to all Nigerians, by making you the presidential flag bearer of our party for the 2023 election.
“You have come a long way; you have seen it all. I can tell you that we have a commitment beyond description, a commitment to deliver you as president. Our party has spoken loud and clear, and delivering the will of the people, our delegates have given you the mandate to lead.
“We are all now your soldiers. We will follow you to the nooks and crannies of this country. We will not rest on your oars until we have delivered you as president.”
Thanking the chairman and members of the NWC, Tinubu said, “I am honoured by this visit. We are all members of the same party, and as such, belong to the same progressive family. I appreciate your visit, I truly feel as if I am with family members.
“I want to thank everyone of you individually and collectively. You have formed a very dynamic team in a short period of time. You have sent jitters to other parties that our party remains united, and you must continue to live up to expectations.
“Today, as I have done throughout my campaign, I assure you that I am ready to reciprocate and vindicate our efforts in making the ultimate sacrifice: relentless public service to our beloved nation.
“We have begun a new story of greatness, prosperity in the history of our nation. You helped me to complete the introduction; we must now work together to etch the substance of the book itself. Our book will not be complete until you have delivered me as president.”
Tinubu described the APC national chairman as a straightforward, focused, and courageous man, whom he had worked together with as a fellow-governor in 1999.
The former governor stated, “I thank you and I reiterate my commitment to the greatness of our party. We must work together, we must not let our enemies, who want to divide us, succeed. We must not allow it. Almighty Allah will crown our work with success as we embark on the journey to a greater Nigeria.”
Among the NWC members who joined the chairman on the visit were Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari; Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Emma Eneukwu; National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Felix Morka; National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Sulaimon Argungu; National Woman Leader, Dr. Betta Edu; and National Youth Leader, Mr. Dayo Abdullah Isreal.
Others were National Vice Chairman (South-west), Dr Isaac Kekemeke; National Vice Chairman (South-south), Chief Hon. Victor Giadom; and National Vice Chairman (North-east), Comrade Mustapha Salihu.
Northern APC Governors Visit Tinubu, as Search for Running Mate Begins
Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Northern States Governors Forum, yesterday, paid a visit to the presidential candidate of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, in Asokoro, Abuja.
The northern governors, who visited Tinubu, included governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Governor of Kastina State, Aminu Masari; Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje; Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya; Plateau State Governor, Simon Lanlong; and Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.
Although the purpose of the visit was not made public, sources said it might not be unconnected with the search for a running mate for Tinubu.
Already, there were speculations that the ruling party might settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
It was gathered that the meeting, which was held behind closed-doors, was centred on a possible running mate to Tinubu in the 2023 election.
‘Tinubu, APC Leadership to Choose Acceptable Running Mate’
Former deputy governors, who were members of APC, assured that the leadership of the ruling party, as well as the presidential candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu, would choose the vice presidential candidate that would best serve the interest of Nigeria.
Chairman of the Forum of former Deputy Governors of Nigeria and former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Lucky Imasuen, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, wondered why people were already speculating whether the ruling party would settle for a Musilm-Muslim ticket.
Imasuen said, “Why are we crying foul, when there is no smoke? I will tell you without any hesitation that the man we have chosen is a leader. When you choose a leader, you choose him to represent the people.
“Himself (Tinubu) and the party leadership, you can rest assured that they will bring the best vice presidential candidate that will best serve the interest of Nigeria. So, just be patient. I can’t tell you where it’s going, because I’m not the candidate and I’m not the national chairman.”
The forum stated that the emergence of Tinubu as the standard-bearer of the party had sent jitters to the camp of the opposition party, which had realised the irreversible error they committed by choosing a presidential candidate against the mood of the nation.
Osinbajo: Tinubu’s Sterling Contributions to Democracy Stand Him Out
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo congratulated Bola Tinubu on his emergence as presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that his contributions to Nigeria’s democracy and its progress stand him out.
In a congratulatory message dated June 9, 2022 and personally signed by him, the vice president, who came a distant third in the presidential primaries, enjoined all APC members to close ranks and work towards the success of Tinubu in the February 2023 presidential poll.
The vice president stated in the letter, “I congratulate Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory at our party primaries and his emergence as the presidential candidate and flag bearer of our great party, the APC, for the forthcoming 2023 presidential election. I also congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and all leaders of the APC for a successful Special Convention and Presidential Primary.
“For many decades, our flag bearer has shown passion, patriotism, courage and determination in the cause of nation building. His sterling contributions to our democracy and its progress stand him out. His wealth of experience will certainly be critical in our party’s continued efforts to attain a more secure and prosperous Nigeria.
“To all members of our great party, regardless of who you voted for at the primaries, we must now unite behind our presidential candidate and flag bearer to ensure victory for our party in the 2023 elections. As true progressives, we must remain strong and united in pursuing our collective vision as a party towards building a country that can provide a decent life and livelihoods for all our people.”
Jonathan Congratulates Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Other Parties’ Presidential Candidates
Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, congratulated the presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, that of APC, Bola Tinubu, and their counterpart in the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, as well as those of the other parties on their emergence as their parties’ standard-bearers.
Jonathan also appealed to the political parties participating in the 2023 general election to base their campaigns on issues and shun violence during the electioneering.
In a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president urged the candidates to run campaigns devoid of rancour and divisiveness, and utilise the opportunity to promote peace and unity.
Jonathan commended the candidates for their interest in leading the country, which he described as a demonstration of their commitment and belief in the progress of the nation.
Noting that Nigeria was at a critical junction in its march to nationhood, as it grapples with security and economic challenges, Jonathan said the 2023 elections presented an opportunity to renew the dreams of the founding fathers and revitalise the economy.
He charged the candidates to, in their campaigns, eschew violence and acts that could encourage any form of bloodletting or exacerbate the national fault lines. He said it was the responsibility of all political leaders to strive to de-escalate the tension in the country.
Jonathan also reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies of their responsibilities, stressing that the significance of the 2023 election, imposes on them a historic burden to continue the process of deepening the reforms of our electoral system.