Former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has been elected the presidential candidate of the party.
Tinubu scored 1,271 votes to clinch the APC ticket, defeating 13 other aspirants at the end of the Special National Convention of the party on Wednesday at the Eagles Square in Abuja.
The other aspirants included former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, who scored 316 votes; Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, who scored 235 votes; Senate President Dr Ahmed Lawal, with 152 votes; Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello with 47 votes; Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State– 37 votes; Gov. David Umuahi of Ebonyi State – 38 votes; Sen. Ahmad Yarima – four votes; former Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajuba, one vote, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu, one vote and former Science and Technology Minister Mr Ogbonnaya Onu – one vote.
Four aspiraants have no vote. They are Senator Rochas Okorocha, Pastor Tunde Bakare, , and Mr Tein Jack-Rich
There were initially 23 aspirants, but nine withdrew shortly before the commencement of voting at the convention. They included Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohnenye, former Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, former Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, former Speaker Dimeji Bankole, Sen. Ajayi Boroffice, Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa, and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who all withdrew for Tinubu
Dr Felix Nicholas withdrew for Osibanjo while Sen. Ken Nnamani withdrew, saying he had not had enough time to sell himself to the delegates.
In his acceptance speech, Tinubu said his co-contestants have nothing to be afraid of and called on all to join hands in ensuring victory in the 2023 Presidential election
“The competition is now over. Those who did not support me, you have nothing to fear. I hold no grudges or grievances. 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,” he said.
He promised to build on President Buhari’s foundation in security, economy, and anti-corruption for the salvation of our people.
He promised that the national economy would be reformed for prosperity to grow and poverty to vanish; providing meaningful education and jobs for the youth, creating jobs and new opportunities in the economy.
“Do we dare provide meaningful education and jobs for our youths so that they may strive for a better future?
“Yes, we dare. Our teeming youth population is our nation’s greatest asset. We will create jobs for our youth from the Zamfara and Osun gold deposits to the vast agricultural lands across the country. We will create new opportunities in the FINTECH sector, the creative and entertainment industries, digital skills and other areas,” he said.
He promised that the task is to build a society where the vulnerable, the weak, the disadvantaged and the elderly are attended to and loved; caring for those who cannot care for themselves; and mustering collective strength to conquer terrorism, kidnapping, and violent evil of any form.
Tinubu called on all APC members to rally around so that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar can be defeated in the general elections.
“After the PDP convention, I commended Abubakar Atiku. The ensuing contest between our party and his will be one of competing visions. Our vision is of progress and the future that can be. We must defeat the PDP’s reactionary ideas. Our better, more progressive vision of Nigeria shall secure a better society for all Nigerians. May this be our task arising from this convention. Let nothing stand in the way of our achieving a more just society and a greater Nigeria,” he said.
He thanked everyone for making him the standard-bearer of the party. He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his calm and prudent leadership and for ensuring a level playing field and a free and fair primary process for every aspirant.
The APC governors were also thanked for their invaluable contribution to the party’s internal democracy and unity. The seven aspirants who stepped down were also praised for their efforts.
Tinubu also thanked his Campaign Team for the victory and his wife, Oluremi, for her patience and wise counsel.