Following the All Progressives Congress (APC) constitution amendments on Wednesday, the party has now adopted a new tactics to pick its candidates for the 2015 elections.
The major opposition party is now constitutionally allowed to use indirect primaries to elect any of its candidates as the need arises, Leadership reports.
Senator Osita Izunaso, national organising secretary of the party, led the process and asked the legal adviser of the party to read the synopsis of the amendments, and called on the deputy chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu to move the motion for the amendment while Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa seconded the motion.
The constitutional amendments reportedly sailed through unanimously using voice vote at its Special Convention in Abuja with 5,287 delegates and leaders from across the country.
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Besides, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) led by its national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, other bigwigs at the historic event comprised Governors Raji Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), and the deputy governors of Yobe, Osun, Imo and Rivers states respectively.
The party’s presidential aspirants were also at the event except Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was said to be abroad at the time and could not make the occasion because of flight reschedule.
Other party chieftains present at the ceremony include Gen Muhammadu Buhari, the founder, Leadership Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, APC members in the National Assembly: Senator Kanti Bello, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Meanwhile, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and a National leader of the party was absent at the convention for reasons yet unknown.
Speaking at the convention, the chairman of the convention and Zamfara State Governor Abdul-azzez Yari said the convention became imperative to allow the party delegates to amend some sections of the party’s constitution to make it conform to the Electoral Act.
He said the most important amendment was Article 20 which now has a new paragraph (e) which specifically states that the party could use indirect primary to elect any of its candidates.
In his remark, Oyegun said Nigeria is going through a trying time and all hands must be on deck to put her back on the path of development and greatness. He said the times become even more challenging as the 2015 elections approach.
“Therefore, we all owe it a duty to our country, a duty to ourselves and a duty to the generations of Nigerians yet unborn to put our country first, and put it back on the path of development and the path of greatness,” Oyegun said.
Buhari in his remark recalled the coming together of the legacy parties and paid tributes to their leaders for the sacrifice that made APC a reality. He commended the courage and wisdom of Tambuwal for adjourning the House sitting till December after announcing his defection to the party.
It is however, believed that the APC constitution amendment is to favour a particular aspirant and the search light is beamed on the former head of state, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, as it would be recalled that Buhari's supporters under the auspices of Youth Congress for Change (BYCC), recently criticised a renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Ahmad Gumi over his open letter to General Muhammadu Buhari, advising him to forget his 2015 presidential ambition.