UPDATED: Buhari Wins APC Presidential Ticket As Atiku Concedes DefeatFeatured, Latest News, Nigeria 2015 Election Thursday, December 11th, 2014
By Ayo Balogun and Funmilayo Omidiji, Lagos – Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has emerged the winner of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Primary election.
Buhari who was declared the winner at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos venue of the party’s third National convention, by the Convention Chairman/returning officer and former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, scored 3,430 total number of votes out of 5,992 total valid votes cast.
He was followed by the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso who polled 974 votes to emerge the first runners – up, while former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar scored a total number of 954 votes to be declared the second runners – up.
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha came a distant fourth with 624 total votes, while the Leadership Newspaper Publisher, Sam Nda – Isaiah was at the bottom of the leader with woeful 10 votes.
A total of 7,214 delegates were accredited for the primary contest. There were total of 16 void votes.
General Buhari will be contesting for the fourth time, having contested in 2003, 2007, 2011.
Earlier before the convention kicked off, the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie – Oyegun, observed that Nigerian political party manifestoes were hardly different from “mere platitudes and general statements to which parties could not be held accountable”.
The opposition leader stated that APC manifestoes have clearly stated the action plans, touching on key six priority areas including: National Security, Good Governance, Human Capital Development, Economic Development, Land and Natural Resources and Foreign Policy.
“The APC Manifesto goes beyond broad proclamations of intentions. For each sector, we have articulated clear policy directions and accompanying strategies to indicate how our vision will be implemented” emphasized Odigie – Oyegun.
The decay in Nigeria’s political and economic structures, the National Chairman held could be traced to poor governance and dysfunctional public administration, promising if elected into power, the party would ensure free and fair elections at all levels, respect for the rule of law, promotion of transparency, genuine anti-corruption measures as well as implement efficient public financial management strategies and ensure “true federalism”.
Chief Odigie – Oyegun accused the PDP government of denying Nigerians its vision, when came into power since 1999, adding that the effect of this informed why the country had been plunged into political anarchy, economic decline and social disillusionment.
The convention Chairman and former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in his address appealed to Nigerians, who he said were desperately seeking change, hence, constrained from actively participating in partisan politics towards bringing about the change due to their cynicism about the internal dynamics of political parties.
He promised the party would showcase the spirit of sportsmanship and the love for the greater good which were the pillars upon which the party was built, adding the opposition would prove it was possible for patriots from every nook and cranny of the country to congregate to determine an outcome on a crucial issue for which interests were disparate and the stakes were high.
In conceding defeat, former vice president Atiku Abubakar states:
“I am very confident that you will provide the needed leadership to turn this country around. I have no doubt that you will work with dedicated and qualified Nigerians to protect our citizens, improve our economy, create jobs, improve education, reform governance and fight corruption. You will indeed bring the change Nigerians have been yearning for. Once more, congratulations.
“I congratulate the other contestants – namely Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Rochas Okorocha as well as the erudite Sam Nda-Isaiah. You have all demonstrated your commitment to democracy by participating in this transparent process and by campaigning vigorously across this country.
“I thank our delegates for their sacrifices and their commitment to democracy. In particular, I thank those who voted for me for your faith in me. However, since we came up short, we have to now rally behind Gen. Buhari to help him prevail in the coming Presidential election.
“The APC has demonstrated, through the transparent process, the party’s commitment to democracy and rule of law. It has demonstrated its respect for people and their choice through the ballot box.
“I sincerely thank the Convention Committee for putting together a hitch-free convention.
“My dear friends, we have voted, a winner has emerged. I pledge my commitment to this party, and to campaign vigorously for our candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and all APC candidates to ensure victory in the 2015 elections.
“I call on all other contestants and our party’s rank and file to unite behind our candidates at all levels to ensure that the PDP is defeated, so Nigerians can have real change.
“I will hand over to Gen. Buhari for his review and possible implementation, my policy document which was developed in line with the party’s philosophy.”
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