APC Primaries UPDATE: Atiku Secretly Winning Delegates?

Investigations reveals that Atiku Abubakar and the Kano State governor, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, have emerged to give Buhari a big fight for APC ticket. Sources in the party say that while the ticket appeared to have been sealed for Buhari, the two other contenders, Atiku and Kwankwaso, had been working underground to reach the delegates.

Already, the Director General of Atiku campaign organisation, Professor Babalola Borishade, had confirmed during the week that his principal was sure of victory in many states, except Kwara and Imo. It was gathered that while Buhari was banking on the support of former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu for victory, Atiku and Kwakwanso had been reaching out directly to the delegates. As of the last count, Atiku had visited 35 states of the federation in the process of electioneering.

Sources said Atiku’s meeting with the delegates had always been more rewarding, as many of the delegates in the states look forward to meeting him.

“Remember that Atiku’s network is practically the longest standing in the polity right now. He has been there since the aborted Third Republic and his structure has been waxing stronger. His network is not restricted to any particular region and that is the Atiku advantage,” a source said.

Sources in the party said Atiku had moved very quietly within the party and had apparently endeared himself to the delegates. It was gathered that Atiku’s strength spread from the North-East to North-Central and even the South-South.

He is also primed to come very close to Buhari in states of the South-West controlled by the APC, while Ekiti, Ondo, as well as Osun states are said to be within Atiku’s reach. Besides, Atiku is believed to maintain a hold on delegates from the North-Central, with delegates from the states like Kogi, Benue and Niger firmly for him.

Sources also said Kwakwanso has been strategising and moving solidly within the party and that the delegates are also looking at him as a possible candidate.

“Unlike what some people are painting, Kwankwanso has been moving around, securing delegates, faster than thought. He is truly moving like a “Trojan horse” among the delegates and it is looking bright for him on a daily basis,” a source close to the party said.

Reportedly favoured by former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Kwankwaso’s project is said to receive boost by plans to pick his running-mate from the South-South, with Rivers State governor, Amaechi, expected to be the beneficiary.

Unlike the initial indication that Buhari would make a clean sweep of the votes from North-West, it emerged during the week that states like Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara may not be intact for Buhari.

Sources said that Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko is behind Kwankwanso.

Investigations also revealed that the fact that delegates at the presidential primaries will cast their votes through the secret ballot could be a plus for the likes of Atiku and Kwankwanso, as the leaders would not have a way of tracing which state voted for which candidate. But the sources said the moves in Atiku and Kwankwanso’s camps notwithstanding, the aspirants were still wary of the “Tinubu’s magic wand.” The fear, according to sources, was that the former governor could corner the votes of delegates from the South-West and deploy it for whoever he wished. “If that happens, Buhari could be on his way to victory,” a source said.

Credit: Tribune

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