Former Head of State, General Mohammadu Buhari has won the presidential primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
He polled 3,430 votes to get the ticket.
While Owelle Rochas Okorocha got 624, Sam Nda-Isaiah scored 10 votes as16 voided votes were recorded.
This is also the case with the three other contestants of the party’s
presidential ticket whose votes were deciphered to be slim during the
sorting of the thumb-printed ballot papers.
Other contenders are Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha and the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah.
While officially declaring Buhari the winner of the exercise, the Chief
Returning Officer, Dr Kayode Fayemi said “at the close of voting and
counting, we have received the comprehensive vote of the exercise.”
Fayemi expressed delight that “it is my esteemed pleasure to reach
this historic conclusion of this keenly contested race. Having won the
majority of votes cast, it is my pleasure and honour to declare
Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the APC presidential primaries in
preparation for the 2015 presidential election. All our aspirants have
proved to be champions in this race.”
We’ve made history–Oyegun
Oyegun, the APC chairman, however, commended the convention planning committee for a job well done.
He also commended the aspirants for display of good sportsmanship
saying “to all of you who are here and those who have gone home, you
have made history,” he said.
Join me to bring about change–Buhari
In his acceptance speech,
winner of the presidential primaries, Buhari commended the convention
planning committee for the success of the convention.
He said “the outcome of the presidential primaries is a
demonstration of democracy at work. What has happened is not about
winning or losing but about freedom of association. I wish to thank my
contenders for putting up a good fight. I extend my gratitude for
accepting my nomination and I will meet you in due course to fashion out
how we will win the elections. It is with deep sense of humility to be
the candidate and flag-bearer of the APC. I stand before you and ask
that you join me to bring about the needed change for this country. It
is either we advance as one or we fail together.”
The implication of this victory is that the
former Head of State would square up again with President Goodluck
Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2015
presidential election scheduled to hold on February 14, 2015.
This would be the second time in a row both political gladiators are meeting at the polls.
The first time was in 2011 when Buhari ran on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
But he was defeated by Jonathan despite polling about 12 million votes.
At the formation of APC which was an offshoot of defunct Action
Congress of Nigeria, ACN, All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, a faction of
All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and Buhari’s CPC, the former
soldier declared his interest to run again for the highest political
office in the land.
This saw him contesting for the APC’s presidential ticket with four others in the party.
Meanwhile, Buhari’s victory has sparked off
jubilations among his numerous supporters at the Lagos State owned
Teslim Balogun Stadium, venue of the presidential primaries.
Atiku congratulates Buhari
Meantime, the former Vice President
has congratulated Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for emerging victorious in the
keenly contested presidential primary election of APC.
Atiku. said “this party is going to renew our democracy in this
country. This is the most credible and transparent election to be ever
conducted by any political party.”
Commending the leaders of the party especially former governor of
Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, he said “Tinubu has been my
contemporary in the fight to entrench democracy. I want to single him
out for his contributions. I also want to congratulate the winner of
this election, General Buhari. He has been an embodiment of change and
he has continued to offer himself for change in this country. Today, you
have been given the responsibility of marching this party to victory. I
want to assure you we are committed to working with you to ensure you
bring about the change this country desires.”
I’ll work with Buhari –Kwankwaso
On his part, Kwankwaso promised to work for the success of the party and Buhari’s success at the polls.
“I want to start by thanking God for making me to be part of
history. On behalf of myself especially the delegates that voted for me,
I want to congratulate the winner of this primary, General Buhari. As
we earlier agreed that whoever wins this election, we will work for him.
Let me assure you that we will work together for the success of the APC
at all levels,” he said.
Internal democracy has begun–Okorocha
Also speaking, Okorocha said “the responsibility falls on the
shoulder of General Buhari. I believe it is God and it came to him
because he is the oldest of the family and I believe the next one will
go to the youngest of the family. There wouldn’t have been this
competition if all of us have not contested. We have now taught the
world that internal democracy can begin in a party.”
Explaining why he participated in the race, he said “I participated
in the race because I wanted to give our brothers from the South East a
sense of belonging.”