Activities intensified on Thursday among key players within the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party continues its search for a strong and acceptable presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.
The party had fixed next week Monday to commence a special convention for its presidential primary shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) extended the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries.
Ahead of the primary, some of the presidential hopefuls have stepped up activities aimed at boosting their chances of emerging as the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming presidential primary.
Shun Monetary Incentives
In what could be described as a last-minute effort, one of the aspirants and incumbent Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was said to have met with the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and five governors of the ruling party.
Although his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, has yet to confirm this, the meeting was reportedly held on Thursday evening at the official residence of the Vice President in Abuja.
Meanwhile presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said he was instrumental in Muhammadu Buhari becoming Nigeria’s president.
Mr Tinubu spoke while meeting the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, leaders and delegates of the party at the presidential lodge, Ibara, Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.
If the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, will be fair enough, he will confirm that, if not for God and me, he will never become governor in this state,” Mr Tinubu said.
“We were together at the MKO Abiola Stadium, he was intimidated, they didn’t want to give him the party’s flag, I was the one that handed the flag to him. He knows that he cannot be the governor without the help of God and my support. It has been over 25 years now that I have been serving them.”
Lawan names Orji Kalu, Fani-Kayode, others as compaingn team
The Ahmad Lawan campaign organisation has named Orji Kalu, senate chief whip, as the director-general of the campaign committee.
Lawan is seeking the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC presidential primary is billed to hold from June 6 to 8.
The chairpersons of the eight campaign committees were announced at a meeting held in Abuja on Thursday.
In May, Kalu withdrew from the 2023 presidential race and endorsed Lawan.
According to a statement from Lawan’s office, the team met to fine-tune strategies and consolidate on the gains made so far.
Members of the committee include Auwal Lawan, chairman of finance and budget; Sani Musa, co-chairman; Ikechukwu Obiora, chairman of strategy and planning; Betty Apiafi, deputy chairman; Barau Jibrin, chairman of contact and mobilisation, and Peter Nwaoboshi, deputy chairman.
23 Aspirants For Ticket
As part of activities lined up for its presidential primary, Osinbajo, Lawan, Tinubu, and 20 others had appeared before the John Oyegun-led APC Presidential Screening Committee.
In no particular order, they include Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and oil magnate, Tein Jack Rich.
Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa; former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; popular Pastor Tunde Bakare, former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima; and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, also appeared before the panel.
Also screened were former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former presidential candidate, Nicholas Felix; a female aspirant, Uju Ken-Ohanenye; Ondo North Senator, Ajayi Boroffice; and a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
Others include Governor David Umahi Ebonyi; former Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and former Minister of Information under the late General Sani Abacha regime, Ikeobasi Mokelu.