- Tinubu will on Thursday, June 9, pick his running to contest with other presidential aspirants in the 2023 elections
- In a new development, the governors under the platform of the ruling APC, their attempt against Tinubu's candidature failed due to the support garnered from the party's delegates
- Meanwhile, close sources revealed that the national leader of the ruling party, Tinubu has been working tirelessly since 2020 to get the presidential ticket of the APC and has won the hearts of major stakeholders of the party through his mandate as the 'unifier'
The emergence of the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the party, has redefined the political trajectory of the ruling party and demystified ‘autocratic’ tendencies, in the name of consensus, The Guardian reports.
Tinubu, a pro-democracy activist and former governor of Lagos State, defeated 13 other aspirants in a contest that was largely determined by the governors, who had absolute control of the delegates.
He got the votes of 1,271 delegates while former minister of transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who came second, polled 316 votes and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo got 235 votes.
Delegates rally round for Tinubu
But before the voting began, about 2,322 delegates at the Eagles Square, Abuja, where the primary was held were surprised, as some of the aspirants took turns to step down for Tinubu, who they described as their “brother and leader.”
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The build-up to Tinubu’s emergence began with the resentment many governors and party faithful had with the manner in which President Muhammadu Buhari imposed Senator Abdulahi Adamu, as the national chairman of the party without adequate consultations and negotiations with relevant stakeholders of APC.
Legit.ng gathered that the battle line was drawn between Adamu and the governors who were bent on preventing the emergence of a consensus candidate anointed by the cabal.
The 2022 amended Electoral Law stipulates that any candidate stepping down must write a letter and append his signature.
The party included a controversial Form 18 that ought to be signed by all candidates for accepting to step down for a consensus candidate in the interest of the party, but that became ineffective because of the intrigues and power play that forced the party to go for indirect primary.
While the scheming was aimed at ensuring that whoever Buhari endorsed clinched the ticket, Tinubu, who many felt was a threat to the presidency became the beneficiary of the process. He got the sympathy of the governors and delegates and won the ticket.
Tinubu as the unifier
A source said, one of the reasons why many stakeholders rooted for Tinubu is their conviction that he is the only aspirant that has the national spread and capacity to defeat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, without the power of incumbency.
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal who spoke shortly before voting started disclosed that Tinubu started working for the ticket in 2020 when he was going round to meet the party leaders in various states on how to move the party forward.
“We under projected by 100 delegates and that position has not changed. As you know every politician goes into an election to win but in this case, Tinubu had a political structure that you couldn’t fault because it has a national spread."
Tinubu captured southeast
Asked how the Tinubu camp captured the Southeast delegates despite not going there, Lawal said:
“It was easy for us because we had critical stakeholders and governors working for us in the region. Tinubu has a political structure that’s truly national so we had no problem penetrating the northeast, north-central, northwest, southwest, southeast, and the south-south.”
4 northern Christians who might emerge as Tinubu's running mate
According to the guidelines released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), presidential candidates are expected to select their running mates before 12 midnight on Thursday, June 9.
Within the APC, there are already rumours that Tinubu will settle for a northern Christian, especially as there has been loud opposition to a Muslim-Muslim ticket by most Nigerians, especially in the south.