- Party unveils list of 24 governorship candidates
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that no less than 7,000 delegates will participate in a voice vote to affirm the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate at today’s non-elective national convention in Abuja.
This is as the ruling party has approved the election of 24 governorship candidates for the next year’s general election.
President Buhari had earlier been elected by majority of APC party men through a direct primary election.
Already, the venue of the convention, the Eagles Square has been put in shape with a colourful display of Nigerian national flag and APC’s flag.
Also, security has been beefed up around the venue, with more security men still expected to be deployed before the arrival of President Buhari.
Ahead of today’s convention, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is working assiduously to resolve all the issues encountered during the primaries in various states.
Meanwhile, APC’s NWC has approved the election of 24 governorship candidates for the next year’s general election.
However, the NWC at its meeting held on Thursday, disallowed the factional governorship primary election that produced Senator Magnus Abe in Rivers and Pat Utomi in Delta states.
In a statement issued yesterday by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the party said it had ratified the reports of the various Electoral Committees adopted the 24 men as governorship candidates of the APC for the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Those approved by the party to fly its flag at the 2019 governorship elections include,Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano State), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi State), Simon Lalong (Plateau State), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna State), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa State), Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto State), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi State), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina State), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger State), Babagana Umara-Zulum(Borno State)
Others are, Mai Mala Buni (Yobe State), Abubakar A. Sule (Nasarawa State), Emmanuel Jimme (Benue State), Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos State), Tonye Cole(Rivers State), Uche Ogah(Abia State), Nsima Ekere (Akwa Ibom State), and Adebayo Adelabu (Oyo State).
Also cleared by the party to contest on its ticket are, Dapo Abiodun(Ogun State), Great Ogboru (Delta State), Owan Enoh (Cross-River), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe State), Sunny Ogboji (Ebonyi State) and Sani Abubakar Danladi (Taraba State).
Meanwhile, Senator Abe, has rejected the endorsement of Tonye Cole by the APC NWC as the elected governorship candidate of the party in Rivers State for the 2019 elections..
Cole was elected through an indirect primary ordered by the NWC while Abe was elected through direct primary earlier ordered by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Both aspirants claimed the candidacy of the party till the NWC announced the endorsement of Cole.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, Abe vowed that he would appeal the NWC’s decision, pointing out that his legal team was already preparing a petition to present to an appeal committee set up by the party.
He said: “The leadership of the party has set up an appeal committee to look into the complaints of some members who are aggrieved over the decision of the NWC.
“We are preparing our petition, which we will send to the appeal committee. Although we were told that the petition to the appeal committee is a mere formality, we will still present our position to them.”
Abe said as a person, he has nothing against Cole, but as a politician, he would continue to seek for justice.