The first National Convention of the leading opposition party, the All Progress Congress, APC, held in Abuja on Friday night in a carnival-like fashion. At the end of the contest, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, former governor of Edo State, emerged as National Chairman after a lot of political re-alignment.
Also, interim National Secretary, Tijjani Tumsah emerged the substantive National Secretary after the withdrawal of Alhaji Kashim Imam from the race. His withdrawal was announced by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Surprisingly, a former governor of Ekiti State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decampee, Chief Segun Oni emerged Deputy National Chairman (South) unopposed. Oni occupied the same position in his former party before he was removed through a court order.
The outspoken Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was also returned unopposed as national publicity secretary. See more…
|APC National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun
Former national secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Lawal Shuaibu was also returned unopposed as deputy national chairman (North). Chief John Odigie Oyegun
The emergence of Oyegun was said to be a product of an intense horse trading that culminated with withdrawal of other contestants. Virtually, the entire officers were returned through a consensus.
That notwithstanding, delegates still voted to ratify the selection to meet INEC guideline for party convention.
I will lead vanguard to chase PDP away – Atiku
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has volunteered to lead the broom revolution that will end the PDP’s inept era. In his remark at the convention, he urged Nigerians to vote out the government “that is corrupt, a government that is inept and a government that has no clue.”
According to him, the PDP has no business of ruling Nigeria after 2015. “I will be in the vanguard to chase out the government,” he remarked.
He however warned the party faithful against emulating the PDP in the intra election, saying what brought them together is the Nigerian project and neither religion nor tribe.
2015 is another watershed – Buhari
Meanwhile, former military president, General Muhammadu Buhari has described next year’s election as a watershed and urged Nigerians to make use of it by voting out the PDP.
He compared Nigeria in 1999 to that of this year when life is now more tough for the common man and recalled that the emergence of the APC and its mission is to liberate the country from the inept PDP controlled government.
PDP will quit Aso Rock next year – Bisi Akande
The outgoing national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande has given an assurance of victory of the party come 2015.
In his farewell address, Akande recalled the circumstance that gave birth to the party and was optimistic that the party would replace the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s presidential poll.
He lamented the failure of the federal government to arrest the menace of insecurity and recalled with nostalgia how Nigeria that used to send her military to keep peace on the global scene, and lamented that the country was now playing host to others who were coming to help its military end insurgency and free the abducted Chibok schoolgirls from their captors.
While recalling how the ruling party had labeled the APC and its chieftains as sponsors of the insurgency, he said the acceptance of the party as manifested during the recently conducted registration exercise was evident of its popularity.
Akande who acknowledged the support he received from other members of the interim NEC also called on the party supporters to do the same for the new leadership.
In his own remark, Governor Rocha Okorochas noted that APC means change and that change must come. He paid tribute to the founding fathers of the party.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi on his part, asked for the vigilance of the party supporters to prevent manipulation of next year’s general election, reminding them that the ruling party would not let go of power easily.
In their separate remarks, Ogbonnaya Onu and Ali Modu Sheriff also reminded the party faithful to remain one and work for the success of the party, beginning with Ekiti and Osun States.
APC ready to sweep PDP out – Tinubu
Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday declared that the All Progressive Congress (APC) broom revolution is ready now to sweep the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of power in 2015.
The change he told the teeming supporters at the party’s maiden national convention holding at the Eagle Square, Abuja has become necessary because of the manifest ineptitude and weakness of the PDP-led government.
A government he said that cannot protect her citizens such that 250 girls abducted in Chibok, Borno more than a month ago are still in captivity. The people, he said, cannot continue to tolerate this government and APC had come to present the clear alternative.
Tinubu however said the successful holding of the national convention has shamed detractors who had said that it was impossible for the legacy parties to merge and form one formidable party.
“We have every reason to congratulate ourselves not only for the history we have made, but for showing that we are capable and ready to bring that which Nigerians desire.
“They have attempted to brand us a religious party, yet they failed. They should know that poverty knows no religion. We are making history today and assure that we are one and we must remain united”, he added.
Seated in the state box at the convention were all APC governors, their deputies and state speakers. Also in the state box were former head of state Gen Muhammadu Buhari, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential aspirant Sam Nda-Isaiah, former anti-graft czar Nuhu Ribadu, Chief Bisi Akande, Lai Mohammed, Nasir el-Rufai and all APC members in the National Assembly.