Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
• Ambode in early lead in Lagos
Our Correspondents â€¨
The All Progressives Congress (APC) which held its governorship primaries yesterday across the country has, in some states, produced clear winners, while those of other states are being awaited.
One of the clear winners yesterday include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
Tambuwal, yesterday emerged the winner of the governorship primary election of the All Progressive Congress(APC) in Sokoto State.
Tambuwal polled 3,466 votes to defeat Senator Umar Dahiru Tambuwal who scored 23 votes, Yushau Kebbe polled 13 votes while Prof. Lawal Bashar and Aliyu Sayinna did not record any vote.
Declaring the result of the election at the Giginya Stadium in Sokoto Thursday night, the Chairman of the 4-man Electoral Panel, Mr. Khalil Bolaji, described the primary election as peaceful and free and fair devoid of violence.
Bolaji maintained that the Panel adhered strictly to the party’s guidelines in the conduct of the election.
“By the authority vested on me, I hereby pronounce Tambuwal as the winner of this election,”Bolaji said.
He commended the delegates for the way they conducted themselves in an orderly manner during the election.
In a remark, Tambuwal described the election as transparent and commended the delegates for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
He pledged to carry the people along and expressed confidence of emerging victorious in the 2015 election.
Tambuwal said he would pay attention to education, health, agriculture and empowerment of the youths, if given the mandate.
He also expressed gratitude to Governor Aliyu Wamakko for the way he has been providing leadership for the party in the state and promised to continue from where he stopped.
“I really commend Wamakko for the way he has been providing leadership to our people and I pledge to continue with the good works,”Tambuwal said.
He called on the other governorship aspirants to join hands with him in order to move the state forward.
Also speaking, Governor Wamakko, described Tambuwal as a competent candidate who would deliver the goods to the people of Sokoto State.
He therefore, appealed to other contestants to accept the outcome of the election in good faith.
“In every election, there must be a winner and a loser, so, they should join hands with Tambuwal to move the state forward.
“I am urging all our party members to support Tambuwal to ensure our party’s victory in 2015, “Wamakko said.
Meanwhile, THISDAY gathered that one of the governorship aspirants, Senator Umar Dahiru Tambuwal, reportedly stormed out of the Giginya stadium in anger before the announcement of the result of the election.
About 3,523 delegates from the 23 local government areas of the state voted during the election with a total of 10 invalid votes recorded
The governorship primaries of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State yesterday held at Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island amid tight security, though hundreds of political thugs massively flooded the venue.
As at the time of going to press last night, it was not yet clear who the winner will be as counting was still going on. However, one of the 12 apsirants Akinwunmi Ambode, believed to have been sponsored by the former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had shown sign of an early lead, although it was the vote his home constituency of Epe that had been counted as at press time.
The preliminary process, which would eventually produce the party flag bearer for the 2015 governorship election, was fairly peaceful and transparent without record of violence at press time.
Twelve aspirants, who include former Accountant-General of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, participated in the process that started as early as 9:00 a.m.
But eleven aspirants under the aegis of Lagos Governorship Aspirants shelved their early plan to stage walkout from the venue of the primaries in protest against Ambode’s adoption by the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
Also, the plan of the eleven aggrieved aspirants to hold news conference at Southern Sun Hotel after the planned walkout did not materialise, apparently due to the transparency of the election process.
While the process was ongoing, three of the aspirants: Hamzat, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji and former Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali quietly left the venue at different times.
However, the state Chairman of the party, Chief Oladele Ajomale publicly announced the forfeiture of his right to vote at the party governorship primary, which was chaired by former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Chief Peter Obadan.
Ajomale made the public announcement following an allegation that he had directed the delegates through short message service that they should cast their votes for one of the governorship aspirant.
He denied the text message, which he said, had been sent to almost all the delegates, refuting that he did not send text message or tell any delegate “to vote for a certain aspirant, all the delegates are mine, vote according to your conscience, I denounce that text message openly here.”
The party chairman, therefore, declared that he gave up his right to vote for the candidate of his choice in view of the allegations levelled against him, while describing the text messages as fraudulent.
Meanwhile, Tinubu delivered a goodwill message at the venue, charging all the aspirants to accept the result of the primaries whenever it is announced in order to move the party forward.
The national leader, who delivered the message through the party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said over 6,000 delegates had gathered “to choose a governorship candidate among the 12 aspirants.”
He described the process as the beginning of the march for democracy while commending the aspirants for playing the game with decorum, though reminded them that only one of them would emerge winner at the end of the day.
He said: “All of you are qualified but only one of you will win. We must join hands together to ensure the party wins at the general election. The way you conduct yourself will determine how Lagos State presents itself.
“All of you should comport yourselves and accept the result of the primaries as the choice of the party. The party had worked tirelessly to make today possible. The enemies of the party laid in wait to see if the APC would fail. None of the aspirants should tear the party because of the outcome of the process. No one should tear down, let us put the enemies to shame and remain as one big family.”
Akwa-Ibom: Umana is It!
Former Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government (SSG) Umana Okon Umana has emerged the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. He secured 2, 444 votes to become the winner at the primaries held at the Uyo township stadium.
Results of others aspirants showed that Senator John Udoedehe had six votes, Group Captain Sam Ewang, one vote while Emmanuel Ekpenyong got two votes. The election was conducted through option A4 system. The materials for the primaries were reportedly hijacked by Udoedehe and his supporters hence the conduct through option A4. Policemen and State Security Service (SSS) were said to have watched the materials for primaries taken away helpless.
Enugu: Ezea Emerges Unchallenged
A two-time gubernatorial candidate in Enugu State, Mr Okey Ezea yesterday emerged as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Ezea who emerged unopposed at the party primaries which took place at the APC secretariat in Enugu had contested for the position on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) in 2007 and 2011 elections.
His emergence followed a voice vote by the 3467 delegates drawn from the 260 wards in the state.
Ezea’s initial opponent, Ifeanyi Asogwa was said to have withdrawn to contest for the Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency seat.
In his acceptance speech, Ezea pledged to provide free education, qualitative health care delivery and improved welfare scheme for the people of the state if elected as governor next year.
He accused the People Democratic Party (PDP) led federal and state government of total failure in the past 16 years, noting that the best for the nation at this point in time is for Nigerians to give their mandate to the APC.
Ezea who specifically said the present administration in the state had received a whopping N544 billion in the past 8 years without anything to show for it noted that he was ready to offer an accountable and transparent leadership for the state by next year.
In his speech, chairman of APC in the state, Dr Ben Nwoye said the opposition party was ready to wrestle power from the ruling party, noting that already their 24 House of Assembly candidates had emerged and ready for the battle ahead.
Cross River Shifts Governorship Primaries to Saturday
The APC did not hold its governorship primaries in Cross River State yesterday.
The party announced that it has postponed the election to Saturday
Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Ikpeme who announced the postponement gave no reason for the decision.
Aspirants seeking the party’s governorship ticket are Mr. Odey Ochicha, Mr Lazarus Undie and Dr.Mike Ogar.
Osun Records Crisis and Protests
In Osun State confusion and crisis marred the exercise which was supposed to produce federal lawmakers, since the second term of Governor Rauf Aregbesola had just begun.
Some of the aspirants in the party lamented unequal treatment in the conduct of the exercise.
One of them, Mr Ayodele Kusamotu, a lawyer, who is contesting for Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-otin federal constituency, yesterday alleged that the party refused to give him nomination form after payment of #2million.
Addressing newsmen, Kusamotu expressed disappointment over the incidence, saying such was against the principle of the party.
He said the party has not taken any step to address the issue having written twice to the party leadership.
Kusamotu hinted further that protests are going on in major towns of the state including Ikirun, urging the party to beam its light on what is happening in the state.
He said, “we need to call the attention of our party leaders to the anomalies happening in Osun State and appeal to them to urgently address the issue.
“Anybody can aspire for any political post of his or her choice, and any attempt to deny people the opportunity is anomalous,” he added.
But, the Director of publicity, media and strategy of APC, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said that only genuine members of the party were given the nomination form.
Speaking on telephone with our correspondent, Oyatomi said, “if a person paid for the nomination form and he or she is not given the form, he should complain to the party and they will resolve it”, stressing that “the person that raised alarm is not a genuine member of APC”.
Gov Ahmed Emerges as sole governorship candidate in Kwara
As expected, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed emerged yesterday when about 3,025 delegates of the party in Kwara State affirmed the candidature of the state governor, as the sole governorship candidate of the party for next year general elections.
The affirmation of governor Ahmed as the sole governorship candidate of the party was based on his recent endorsement by the stakeholders of the party led by Senator Bukola Saraki.
At the Ilorin Sports Stadium, venue of the governorship primary of the party yesterday, the delegates which comprised over 3,025, affirmed the earlier endorsement of governor Ahmed.
The delegates were drawn from the 16 local government councils of the state.
The affirmation was done in the presence of the chairman, Electoral Committee of APC, Abuja Prince Azu Uwandu and the representatives of INEC, Alhaji Sheu Abdulwahad.
The delegates from each 16 local government councils of the party were later called one by one and they all voted for the candidature of governor Ahmed as the sole governorship candidate of the party.
Speaking at the venue of the primary yesterday, the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Isola Balogun Fulani said the affirmation of governor Ahmed by the delegates from the 16 local government councils was a constitutional requirement that must be done.
Also speaking, the leader of the APC in the state and senator representing Kwara central senatorial district at the national assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki described the primary as smooth and peaceful.
He said that, the struggle was not a personal interest but to rescue the country from the oppressed people.
Saraki also said that, the forthcoming presidential primary would not break the party but that it would consolidate it to move the nation forward.
In his acceptance speech, the state governor and governorship candidate of APC, Alhaji Ahmed promised to consolidate his efforts on the past achievements so as to add more values to the socio economic development of the state.
He called on the people of the state to continue to cast their votes for the APC in order to move the state forward.
Losers of Edo APC Primaries Pledge to Support Winners
As in Osun, there was no governorship primaries in Edo State yesterday because the second term of Governor Adams Oshiomhole is far from being over. However, the primaries for House of Representatives primaries produced winners and losers.
The exciting difference however is that aspirants who lost in the Edo State All Progressive Congress (APC) House of Assembly primaries have pledged to work towards the success of the party in the general election, including supporting their opponents with cash.
The aspirants vowed to stop their opponents from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the general elections and lauded the peaceful conduct of the APC primaries.
Osunde Pekies, who spoke on behalf of the aspirants, said they would provide financial and technical support towards Okaeben campaigns and warned against under-rating the PDP.
He promised that their various wards would be delivered for the APC in the general elections.
Similarly, leader of the party in the local government, Mr. Lawrence Orkar, said the APC would crush the PDP in Oredo West adding that “campaigns should not be on past glories, but present achievements”.
Okaeben in his speech called for unity among party members and urged APC members to begin to tell their neighbours about the many good things APC has to offer.
He said his chances of defeating his opponent, a daughter of Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, are very bright because according to him, “recent day politics is not built on the aristocracy of birth but on the autocracy of intelligence”
“We should unite ahead of the battles ahead. We will be having periodic meetings to discuss problems of Oredo West. Today is the day to reunite. We must unite Oredo because it is the heart of government and seat of power.”
In Ikpoba-Okha, Aiyamekhue Edokpolor dissolved his campaign Organisation and pledged to work for the victory of Hon Henry Okhuarobo
Kaduna APC Gov Primaries: â€¨El-Rufai, Ashiru in a Neck and Neck
A Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Nasir El Rufai, and a current House of Representatives Committee’s Deputy Chairman on Appropriations, Alhaji Isa Ashiru were neck-to-neck in the All Progressive Congress(APC)governorship primaries in Kaduna State on Thursday.
As at the time of filing this report, there is all possibility that either El-Rufai or Ashiru would emerged as the APC flag bearer in the state.
Amidst tight security, the primaries started four hours behind time at the permanent site of the famous Kaduna International Trade Fair ground, Kaduna with the 4200 delegates registering at 2pm.
At the event, the Kaduna Chairman of the APC, Bala Bantex, said the party has ensured that arrangement for a free and fair election is in place.
Bantex, then assured all party members in the hall of a transparent primaries.
He said,”all arrangements for a free and fair election has been put in place. All the national officials that will conduct and supervise are on ground, and we are assuring all delegates of truth and fairness”.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filling this report, only 6 of the 23 Local Government Area of the state, with 250 Wards had voted.
But a source told one of our correspondent that. El-Rufai and Ashiru were in a close tie.
“I can assure you that El Ruffai or Ashiru will pick the ticket. All of them are very strong both in the north and the south of the state.”
Also, in the race are, Alh. Lukman Mohammed Lukman, a nephew of late former OPEC President, Dr Rilwan Lukman. Mohammed , a businessman, hails from Zaria City and said to be a core loyalist of APC presidential aspirant, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Another contestant is Alh. Samsudeen Ango Abdullahi, son of a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University and spokesman of Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi. He is also a dark horse, but popular among the young, educated delegates of the APC, but they are few. He is from Giwa LGA.
Also in the race is Mallam Haruna Sa’eedn from Southern Kaduna.
Benue: APC State Chairman in Fisticuffs with Aspirant
The Benue State Chairman of the party, Comrade Aba Yaro yesterday engaged in fisticuffs with Mike Utsaha ,an aspirant at the party’s state secretariat in Makurdi.
Utsaha narrated that while at the party secretariat for the primaries at the directives of the committee in charge of the exercise, he saw a Hilux van drive into the secretariat that was initially restricted only for aspirants and delegates.
He said, ” It was at that same time that I saw the state chairman coming down from his office upstairs. He started shouting and went straight to where the electoral committee members were. He forcefully grabbed the electoral materials, tore them in shreds and ordered everybody out of the secretariat”.
“One of the female members of the committee who attempted to protest was pounced upon by the thugs that accompanied the chairman. I started recording everything that was happening and in the process, one of the boys informed the chairman of my action. The chairman violently approached me and blow me on the mouth insisting I must give him my iPhone. When I resisted, he directed the boys to ensure they take the phone from me. I was beaten up mercilessly”, he further narrated.
Sources at the secretariat who pleaded not to be named confirmed that but for the intervention of police officers at the secretariat who shot severally in the air, the fight would have degenerated to a free for all.
All attempt to reach the state Chairman of the party was not successful as he was said to be in a meeting
Meanwhile an aspirant in the upcoming gubernatorial primary of the party Professor Steve Ugba has debunked news report that he has quit the race for the APC ticket.
Ugba told reporters that the report is not true saying that he is very much in the race to emerge the party candidate.
In Kano, It’s Yet Uncertain
In Kano, the exercise went peacefully as delegates had to be screened at the state library complex, after which they were conveyed to Sani Abacha stadium, the venue slated for the exercise.
The state delegates numbering 482 including were lined up and screened on individual basis to ensure foul- free exercise.
As at the time of filing this report, it was not yet clear who will carry the day. However, the contestants include the sitting state deputy governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje along with three others like General Lawal Jafaru Isa (rtd) a close associate of General Buhari; Alhaji Usman Alhaji who is the former commissioner under Kwankwaso between 1999 to 2003 and also minority-leader of House of Representatives, Hon Suleiman Abdurrahman Kawu.
THISDAY learnt on good authority that Kawu may step down at the eleventh hour following the permutations in political circles that he may be pick as running mate for Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Oyo: Shittu Boycotts as Ajimobi Wins
One of the three governorship aspirants in Oyo APC, Adebayo Shittu who was the 2011 governorship candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) yesterday boycotted the primary of the party held inside the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingbe, Ibadan.
The incumbent governor, Abiola Ajimobi coasted home to victory as his lone challenger, Dr. Ayobami Lam Adesina, who is the son of late former governor of the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina, could not muster the needed support to threaten Ajimobi’s chance of picking the party’s ticket.
The applause that greeted Ajimobi’s arrival around 2pm to the stadium suggested overwhelming support of the delegates for him as they rose in unison to sing his praise.
As early as 8 o’clock local time, delegates from the 351 wards of the 33local government areas of the state had started arriving at the venue.
A total of 4,776 delegates were accredited to cast their votes.
Dr. Lam Adeshina, said as a progressive, he is ready to accept the outcome of the election , if it did not favour him adding that he will not leave the party.
He however warned that,” If you present a candidate that is not going to win the election for the people, the party will lose”.
Some of the delegates described the primaries as well organised peaceful and fair.
Rivers APC Affirms Peterside as Gubernatorial Candidate as Abe shuns Congress
The state congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has unanimously adopted Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside, as its sole candidate for the governorship elections.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi had last week chosen Peterside as the consensus candidate for the APC, instead of Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe; a decision that created tension in the party.
Perhaps, still smarting from the decision of Amaechi, Abe was conspicuously absent at the state congress which took place at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt.
Peterside’s adoption at the state congress yesterday followed a motion moved by Chairman of Rivers State Caucus in the National Assembly, Honourable Asita Honourable.
Asita argued that since Peterside was the only candidate that collected the party’s nomination form, he should be declared the sole candidate of the party for the 2015 gubernatorial poll.
The motion was seconded by the Chairman of the APC in Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Mr. Dere Samuel-Horsefal.
However, despite the adoption, the 4,574 delegates from the 23 local government areas of the state went ahead to cast their votes in the primary to affirm the adoption.
Peterside polled 3,773 votes out of the 3,914 votes cast at the primary election.
Meanwhile, Amaechi, in his address at the state congress of the APC, said the state had suffered hardship in the hands of the Federal Government for speaking out against injustice.
He cited the issue of Soku oil well that were ceded to Bayelsa State and the 41 oil wells in Etche area of Rivers state that were also ceded to Abia state.
“Federal Government would have gone ahead to pay N12 billion to Abia State if I had not gone to court to stop the payment,” Amaechi said.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan would continue the oppression of Rivers State if he gets a second tenure, and urged the people to ensure that the president was not re-elected.