In 2023, It’s Straight Fight Between Tinubu, Atiku
•Buhari assures Tinubu of support
•Lawan can easily lick his wound, says presidential candidate
•Shames those building ruling party’s coffin, warns opposition party to step aside
•Osinbajo, Adamu, Atiku, Afenifere, others congratulate ex-Lagos gov
•You’re no match for our standard bearer, PDP mocks APC’s choice
Deji Elumoye, Chuks Okocha, Adedayo Akinwale, Udora Orizu in Abuja; James Sowole in Abeokuta, Fidelis David in Akure, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin, Sylvester Idowu in Warri and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Without disregard for other political parties and their candidates, the 2023 presidential election is going to be a straight fight between Senator Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This followed their emergence as the standard bearers of their respective parties two weeks apart.
A total number of 2,322 were initially scheduled to vote for the presidential candidate of the APC, but 2,032 were accredited and voted for the aspirants.
The ruling party had 23 presidential aspirants, while nine aspirants stepped down for their choice co-contestants, some withdrew from the race before the commencement of the primary election.
Those that stepped down for Tinubu were the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Governor of Ogun state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru; senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice and Uju Ohanenye.
But the youngest presidential aspirant, Nicolas Felix, stepped down for the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
In all, however, 14 presidential aspirants contested the presidential primary election of the APC.
At the end of the voting exercise, the Co-chair of the Election Management Committee, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, declared Tinubu as the winner of the election.
Tinubu scored a total of 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rival, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who scored 316 votes, while Osinbajo scored 235 votes. Senator Rochas Okorocha scored zero votes; Governor Yahaya Bello scored 47 votes, and Mr. Tein Jack-Rich scored zero votes.
Also, a former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, scored one vote; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, scored 152 votes; Cross Rivers State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, scored 37 votes; Chief Ikobasi Mokelu had zero vote; former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuiba scored one vote; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, scored 38 votes; Pastor Tunde Bakare, scored zero vote, while Sani Yerima, scored four votes. A total of 13 votes were voided.
The presidential candidate, however, told the Senate President, Lawan, that he was a little upset that he competed against him, but added that he could easily lick his wound now.
This was as prominent Nigerians, including Osinbajo, National Chairman of APC, Abdulahi Adamu; Atiku, Afenifere and governors of the party, among others, had started congratulating the former Lagos governor.
However, the leadership of the PDP has mocked Tinubu and his party, saying the person the APC settled for was no match for their candidate, Atiku.
Delivering his speech, Tinubu described the victory as historic and also thanked God for being able to witness it, even as he promised to build an unbreakable team that would move Nigeria forward.
Tinubu said: “Today is another historic day and it is thanks to God almighty that you are living healthy to witness it, to be part of it, to be your calling, to be your arrangement. We all, not only as a party, it has gone beyond partisan idea now.
“It is yours as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You put it together and you have even been gracious and humble from the beginning. We are very grateful to you.
“The vice-president, a very good and supportive pillar, a good assistant to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, we thank you for this steady and good support to our president.
“To you, the legislature, the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, I would have been a little upset, because you competed with me, but that is over now since you can easily lick your wounds. It doesn’t take away from thanking you from the past cooperation and cool-headedness to build our country.
“You have helped in steering the ship of the nation and with your colleagues in the Senate, history is written and will be kind to you.
“And to my brother, Hakeem Gbajabiamila, the sparkling speaker, I credit you. The Gbajabiamilas of Lagos have been part of the history of this country and you will not be forgotten.
“To the chairman of our party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, it appeared some weeks back that some newspapers and many people were ready to write the obituary of this party. We put together and pulled ourselves as a cat with nine lives. We thatched the roof, steady the pillars and became master builders. You came on and worked hard with the collaboration of others and here we are.
“Shame on those who were already building the coffin of APC. Shame on them. Our party is alive. They said we won’t be able to do the convention, but here we are.”
He added: “We will tell Poverty Development Party, they call themselves PDP, 16 years of failures of wastefulness. We say step aside, be buried and leave the way for us. We will repair our country. We are progressives, we are nation builders. We are not destroyers. We are confident that this nation is back on track.”
Tinubu, who also spoke about the growing wave of killings in the country, said, “We are not the barbaric, blind human beings they think we are. They are setting us against one another. When you were born, you didn’t hear from the womb whether you would be a male or female, Christian or Muslim. You were born to your parents and adopted their religions and you continued.
“The Bible taught us to love your neighbour as you love yourself. It did not say kill your neighbour. It is in the two holy books. Goodness for goodness. Learn to accept mistakes, not from gunshots or the destruction of lives and property, because the life you take you cannot bring back, the hate you spill cannot cure your hunger. We must build a new society and learn to think a new way of life.”
He commended the delegates for the confidence they reposed in him, saying he would prove that their choice was a wise one, adding that they had moved the party and country towards its best future.
“I commend my fellow aspirants. It is a difficult thing to run for president. The stiff and bold competition you offered made our party stronger and made me better. I must say a special word of thanks to the seven aspirants: Badaru Abubakar, Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Borrofice, Dimeji Bankole, Godswill Akpabio, Kayode Fayemi, and Uju Kennedy, who chose to step down their personal ambitions for the good of the party and the unity of our purpose,” he said.
The presidential candidate said now that the competition was now over, he bore no grudges or grievances to those who did not support him, saying, “have nothing to fear.”
According to him, “Let us each agree to join hands in defeating the PDP and beating back our common foes of poverty, terror and violence. We now have a date with destiny in February 2023. Let us win so Nigeria can become the nation it is intended to be.
“Now, permit me to address the nation. Yes, we face serious problems. But I believe that we have it within us to reach our finest destiny. With help from God, we shall make this nation better for the generations to come.”
Buhari Congratulates Tinubu, Assures Him of Unwavering Support
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, described the former Lagos State governor as the right candidate for Nigeria’s aspiration to move to greater heights.
He was also quick to ask the leadership and members of the APC to unite behind Tinubu who he said would safeguard and improve on the current democratic achievement and legacy.
The statement added: “Having emerged victorious he has our full and unwavering support.
“Now our party must unite behind our candidate to achieve victory at the 2023 elections so that our government will continue to secure our communities, grow our economy and continue the fight against corruption.
“During the primaries, there were factions and disagreements amongst the contestants and now that the process has ended we must build a united front in our party.
“In this way, the APC will remain the party that can best deliver on the priorities of the Nigerian people. Now it is time to put the process behind us.
“Because what we can all agree is that the APC remains the party that can best deliver on the priorities of the Nigerian people. But the way to demonstrate that we can get on with this job is to unite.
“The movement we created in 2013 is beyond individuals. Together, we made history by becoming the first party in our country’s history to unseat a party in power and propel our candidate into the Presidency through a peaceful democratic transfer of power.
“We strongly believe that Bola Ahmed Tinubu will safeguard and improve on this democratic achievement and legacy. He is the right candidate for Nigeria’s aspiration because he is the APC’s candidate and under the continued stewardship of our party. Nigeria can achieve greatness and fulfill its destiny in Africa and the world.”
Osinbajo Campaign Organisation Congratulate Tinubu
The Spokesman of Prof Yemi Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Richard Akinnola, has congratulated Tinubu.
Akinnola in his Facebook page, congratulated Tinubu saying there must be a winner in any contest
“Congratulations, Asiwaju Tinubu, the presumed winner of the primaries. In any contest, there must be a winner. However, I’m very proud of my choice of support in the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“I have no iota of regret over my support for him. It was a privilege to play a pivotal role for him during the process. I would gladly do it over and over again. It’s a matter of conviction.
“And for all our supporters and other volunteers who worked assiduously, day and night on the PYO project, God bless you all. I’m so proud of all of you.
“As l often say, God rules in the affairs of men and He has a purpose for what just happened.
“Understandably, many of you are dispirited and downcast but do not let your heart be troubled. There must be a reason God allowed this. It may not be manifest to us now but later as He is all knowing.”
Adamu Eats Humble Pie, Congratulates Tinubu
The National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdulahi Adamu has congratulated Tinubu.
Adamu recently vowed to punish Tinubu for disrespecting Buhari.
But in a congratulatory letter dated June 08, 2022, he said Tinubu’s victory vindicated the ruling party’s nationalistic outlook and patriotic posture.
He said: “I present to Your Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my compliments and those of the members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, in the best of traditions.
“I write on behalf of the entire membership of the All Progressives Congress to congratulate Your Excellency on the sterling victory that you recorded at the just concluded Special National Convention to emerge as the Presidential Candidate of our great Party.
“Your victory has vindicated our party’s nationalistic outlook and patriotic posture as the Party of choice for every Nigerian. I am pleased that the party spoke with one voice when the delegates voted overwhelmingly to nominate you as our presidential candidate.”
Tinubu Has Capacity to Lead Nigeria, Says Fayemi
Fayemi, has congratulated Tinubu over his emergence as APC presidential candidate.
Fayemi also congratulated the party leadership and the convention planning committee for the successful conduct of the special convention and presidential primary, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari for superintending over a free, fair, and credible process as national leader of the party. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi said Tinubu’s emergence represented the collective wish of the vast majority of members of the APC, adding that the former Lagos State Governor had proven his dedication and competence to lead the country at such an important time in history.
He added: “It is a great moment for our party. I congratulate Asiwaju Tinubu for the well deserved victory and the leadership of the party as well as the convention committee members for a great job.
“Collectively, we shall move from this convention venue with greater determination to strengthen the party and work assiduously for the success of the party in the 2023 elections.”
Lawan, Omo-Agege Congratulate Tinubu
Lawan and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege have congratulated Tinubu on his election as presidential standard bearer of the APC.
Lawan, who ran against Tinubu in the presidential primary, in a congratulatory letter personally signed by him, said the emergence of Tinubu reassured his party of winning the 2023 presidential poll.
According to him, the outcome of the election process had shown that Tinubu was the popular choice of his party.
“I am elated and proud that the Presidential primary was manifestly free and fair, and conducted within our APC Family under a most convivial atmosphere.
“The success of the event again demonstrates the capacity of our great party to run its internal affairs smoothly and devoid of rancor,” he added.
On his part, Senator Omo-Agege, the standard bearer of APC in the 2023 governorship election in Delta State, expressed optimism that Tinubu would emerge victorious in next year’s presidential election.
He particularly lauded Buhari and the governing APC for giving all aspirants a level-playing field.
In a statement by his campaign Director, Communications and Media Strategy, Ima Niboro, Omo-Agege, commended the 2022 APC Special Convention Committee for successfully conducting the primary, even as he showered glowing tributes on APC Northern Governors for setting the pace by zoning the Presidency to the South.
While calling on Tinubu to be magnanimous in victory, Omo-Agege stressed the need for all presidential aspirants to join hands with the APC Presidential candidate and the party in ensuring victory.
“Not everyone gave APC a chance to conduct a free, fair, credible presidential primary. With the undercurrents in the buildup, some had predicted that our great party would go into extinction after this convention.
“But with the transparent process that saw the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as our party standard bearer, I am confident more than ever before that this is the beginning of even greater tidings for our party,” he said.
Gbajabiamila, Wase Congratulate Tinubu
Gbajabiamila and his Deputy Ahmed Wase have also congratulated Tinubu.
The Speaker in his statement said he was elated that his political mentor won the APC ticket, saying that it was a well-deserved one considering Tinubu’s years of working for the entrenchment and strengthening of democracy in Nigeria.
While describing Tinubu as a dogged fighter who stood his ground to compete in the presidential primary in a democratic manner, he said with the victory, APC has a good chance of retaining power in 2023,
He equally urged other aspirants at the just concluded primary to join hands and support the party’s presidential candidate.
“I commend the Asiwaju’s doggedness, determination, resilience and tenacity in pursuing his ambition without indulging in any activity that would affect other aspirants and the image of the party.
“This is a victory for APC, a victory for its members and indeed a victory for Nigeria and its democracy,” he added.
On his part, Wase described the process that led to the emergence of Tinubu as one of the most transparent in the country.
The Deputy Speaker expressed optimism that the outcome of the primaries would be one that would inspire hope, harness the potential and lead to prosperity.
He said, “Your emergence in a transparent process is a testament to the fact that the APC is now more united and stronger and has sent a strong message about our resolve to bring about the desired national transformation needed to turn around the fortunes of our beloved country Nigeria.”
Atiku Congratulates Tinubu
Like Tinubu did when he emerged as the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku yesterday congratulated the APC presidential candidate.
In his verified Twitter handle. Atiku wrote: “Congratulations, @officialABAT, on your emergence as your party’s presidential candidate. It has been a hard-fought contest, but that you prevailed confirms your tenacity.”
Akeredolu Congratulates Tinubu, Lauds Buhari, APC Leaders
The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has hailed the outcome of the special convention for presidential primary of the APC.
Governor Akeredolu, particularly lauded the emergence of Tinubu as the standard bearer of the party for the 2023 general election.
In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, the governor said: “I congratulate our great party on the conduct of a successful primary election. I am particularly happy that our party displayed total commitment to the ethos of democracy and embraced the path of fairness and equity.
“The contest was a brotherly scramble. The aspirants, and leaders of our great party must now leverage on our political strength to build the party and reposition it for even greater victory.”
Abiodun Hails Tinubu’s Emergence as Presidential Candidate
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has congratulated Ahmed Tinubu, on clinching the presidential ticket of the party.
Abiodun, in a statement, issued by him in Abeokuta, said the emergence of Tinubu was a good omen for the party and the country as a whole.
According to him, the victory showed that Tinubu was widely beloved and accepted within the country’s entire political spectrum and showed his level of deep interactions and acceptance not only within the ruling APC but across Nigeria.
He said: “This victory indicates that Tinubu as a candidate is good for Nigeria, as it will foster unity, love and understanding amongst Nigerians.
“His electoral victory cut across all the six geopolitical zones; he had an impact in all the zones. He is the candidate to beat in the 2023 elections.”
Ganduje Congratulates Tinubu, Hails Buhari
Also, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has congratulated Tinubu over his victory at the APC presidential primary election.
In a congratulatory message he personally signed and made available to THISDAY in Kano, he said the emergence of Tinubu as standard bearer would be a victory for the Nigeria project.
He said Tinubu has the capacity to provide the needed leadership that would consolidate and continue to ensure the country’s democratic gains.
Ganduje commended Buhari for providing the enabling environment that produced the standard flagbearer, the National Working Committee, the delegates and all other organ and structure of the party across the federation for the collective efforts in ensuring the success of the convention.
The governor also hailed other aspirants for their remarkable sportsmanship which they displayed throughout the painstaking consultation period up to the convention and particularly Osinbajo, who submitted themselves to transparent democratic exercise.
Amosun Salutes Tinubu
Former Governor of Ogun State and Senator representing Ogun Central in the Senate, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has congratulated winner of the presidential primaries of the APC.
In a statement released in Abuja, Amosun described Tinubu as a tested democrat who would bring his experience to bear on the governance of the country.
He expressed the conviction that with his (Tinubu) sterling record as governor of Lagos State, he was convinced that he would offer a leadership that would not only consolidate democracy gains in the country but that which would also offer better life to Nigerians.
Amaechi Congratulates Tinubu
The Amaechi Presidential Media has congratulated Ahmed Tinubu on his victory and emergence as the presidential candidate of the Party.
“We acknowledge that his victory follows a highly charged contest, which as expected, could only produce one winner.
“It is, therefore, our hope that following the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as our party’s presidential candidate, all aspirants will now close ranks and work hard to ensure our party’s victory at the 2023 presidential election,” a statement by its chairman, Kingsley Wenenda Wali added.
Afenifere: Picking Southerner as Presidential Candidate is Delightful
The pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday said the choice of a southerner as the presidential candidate of the APC was delightful.
The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Jare Ajayi, in a statement issued in Ibadan, said it was a known fact that the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum, of which Afenifere is a key member had been in the forefront of those advocating that power must shift to the Southern part of Nigeria come 2023.
He said for power to move to the south there must be southern candidate or candidates, noting that, that was why the forum was strident in its calls on the political parties to field southern candidates in the forthcoming presidential election.
He maintained that by electing Tinubu to fly its flag, the APC met the minimum condition of fielding a southern candidate.
He however added that a return to true federalism through the restructuring of the country had been an article of faith for the group for a long time.
Tinubu, a Dogged Fighter, Says Daniel
A former Governor of Ogun State and Senatorial Candidate of the APC in the Ogun East Senatorial District, Mr. Gbenga Daniel has described Tinubu as a dogged fighter who knows his onions and would go to lengths to achieving his strategic objectives.
Daniel stated this in his congratulatory message to the APC standard bearer.
He said “The Bola Tinubu that I know is a strategic thinker, a great planner and a well organised personality, which are the attributes that have worked for him not only in politics but also in his business and social relationships.
“In the last two decades Bola Tinubu’s political trajectory has shown that the the sky may be the starting point for him, and this he has clearly demonstrated with the energy he puts behind his campaign and the eventual victory as the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress which has proven Bookmakers wrong in all ramifications.”
Kwara Governor Lauds Tinubu’s Emergence Presidential Candidate
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated Tinubu on his emergence as the presidential candidate of the APC.
A statement issued in Ilorin, yesterday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor described the emergence of Tinubu as truly deserving, saying the ballot represented a resounding vote of confidence by the largest majority of party faithfuls and leaders in his capacity to lead the party to another victory.
The statement added: “It was a moment to speak to the direction the party must take to consolidate on its own wins, build on the many successes of President Muhammadu Buhari, and raise a dynamic successor team that is able to take up the challenges of nation-building and development in a peculiar age of changing metrics of governance and collective security.”
Dafinone Hails Tinubu”s Emergence as Presidential Candidate
A renowned Chartered Accountant and APC, Delta Central Senatorial Candidate, Chief Ede Dafinone has congratulated Tinubu.
Dafinone in a statement personally signed and issued yesterday, also congratulated the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta State’s APC governorship candidate and other APC candidates across the state, urging them to build a strong force to take over Delta come 2023.
He said the former Lagos State Governor, “has the capacity to take Nigeria to the next level.”
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group chairman also congratulated other aspirants for their maturity before and during the exercise.
You are No Match for Atiku, PDP Mocks Tinubu
The PDP yesterday mocked Tinubu for clinching the presidential ticket of the APC.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the party said, “Our party also sympathises with Asiwaju for embarking on a journey to nowhere as he is no match for PDP’s more popular, more competent and more prepared presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar the unifier and the people’s choice, who defeated President Buhari fair and square in the 2019 presidential election.
“Asiwaju will soon realise that Nigeria is not one of his acquired estates or fiefdoms and that the Nigerian people are not his political string-puppets and retinue of lackeys, from whom he bought the APC presidential ticket.
“Asiwaju will also soon realise that Nigerians hold him responsible for his self-confessed role in installing the failed Buhari-led administration that subjugated the people, brought excruciating economic hardship, acute poverty, bloodletting, terrorism, mass killings, promoted disunity, tribalism and nepotism, lawlessness, massive treasury looting and unpardonable life-discounting experiences to our country.”
The PDP added: “His failure to express empathy for the victims of violence, kidnapping, mass killings and acts of terrorism, especially the recent gruesome attack in a sacred place of worship, St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State serves as a foretaste of the big cover up and harrowing experience that Nigerians will face, God forbid, should Asiwaju emerge as President in 2023.
“From Asiwaju’s egotistic outbursts before and after the APC manipulative National Convention, it is crystal clear that his life-long dream of clinching the APC Presidential ticket is not for the wellbeing of Nigerians but out of desperation to lay hands on the keys to the nation’s treasury.”