The stage is set for the presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress,APC, who are upbeat about clinching the party’s ticket in an exercise that is poised to define how far the party would go in the 2015 presidential elections.
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
FAilure is not an option. Hopes are high. Optimism is the word and all is set now for the great contest.
Wednesday, December 10, 2015 is the day. Like a football game, it is their semi final. And so, they have lined up for a primary election to secure the ticket to contest the presidential election in 2015.
But the five of them cannot all make it to the final. The ticket is one and must be clinched by one of them. They have passed the stage of consensus. The idea had come up prior to now but it was jettisoned. To them, the idea sounded undemocratic.
The popular Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos State is the venue where former Head of State, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari ,rtd, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, governors of Kano and Imo States, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso and Chief Rochas Okorocha, and the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah would “clash”.
Over 8000 delegates are expected to cast their votes, meaning that whatever happens, one person must secure at least a vote.
They are in the pursuit of the ticket of APC- the nation’s leading opposition political party.
Anyone who emerges from the list would eventually challenge President Goodluck Jonathan on February 14, 2015.
This would be the first presidential primary election of the APC since its formation and registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on July 1, 2013.
With the exception of Sam Nda-Isaiah, who can be likened to a greenhorn in the race, the others are all “old soldiers” who had at one time or the other participated in politics or wielded political power. In fact, they posses different intimidating profiles.
Meanwhile, the aspirants and their respective camps are already in Lagos for the event.
Buhari and Atiku’s camps told Vanguard via SMS that hopes are high, adding that they would be victorious.
Mrs. Ireti Ojekhoa, Head, Information Management Unit of Buhari Support Organizations, BSO, said “The mood is high. We are confident that we will win. Delegates are sure to vote for our principal”.
Similarly, Alhaji Garba Shehu, head, Atiku Media Office in Abuja said: “We are fine. There are very good feelings here. We are doing extremely well. We are optimistic that the outcome will vindicate our feelings.”
Though the camps of Kwankwaso, Okorocha and Isaiah could not be reached, it was gathered that they are also confident of victory.
To forestall acrimony that may arise after the primaries, the APC last week adopted an unusual measure.
The party made the aspirants to sign a letter of commitment compelling them to remain in the party even after losing out in the exercise.
The undertaking also mandated them to collapse their individual campaign structures into that of the party for effective campaign of the eventual standard-bearer.
The statement by Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, reads: ‘’I on behalf of myself and my primary campaign organization undertake to accept the outcome of the primaries and actively support whoever emerges as the winner and shall not defect to any other political party or in anyway obstruct the smooth prosecution of the presidential campaigns.
‘’I further affirm that during the campaign and later in government, I shall be guided strictly by the party manifesto. In the event of my nomination, my campaign team will immediately be collapsed into the party’s campaign structure for a properly united and focused presidential campaign.”
Those who will decide party torchbearer
- All members of the Board of Trustees (BOT)
- National Chairman and all members of the national executive council
- Serving and past Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who are members of the party.
- Serving and past members of the party who are members of the party, serving and past Speakers, Deputy Speakers and other principal officers of the state Houses of Assembly who are members of the party.
- Members of the state’s working committee including those of the Federal Capital Territory.
- All party chairmen and Secretaries of all Local Government Authorities/Local Council Development Authorities in the country.
- All elected chairmen of Local Government Councils/Local Council Development Authorities in the country who are members of the party.
- Three elected delegates at least one who must be a woman from each Local Government Area/Local Development Authorities in the country.