APC Primaries UPDATE: General Buhari Takes the Lead…

Initial reports provide that Atiku Abubakar was in clear third place, until Governor Kwankwaso overtook him. Rochas Okorocha and Sam Nda-Isaiah are far behind.

General Buhari has been said to be taking the lead as his box is literally stuffed with ballot papers. Over 7,200 votes are being counted and processed. The names of the candidates are spoken out loud in the process of sorting. Counting is almost over. Minimal number of the ballot papers are left.


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

APC Primaries Update: Nasarawa’s 155 delegates Divided Over Means of Transportation

The 155 national delegates from Nasarawa State, who are expected to participate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary election in Lagos State today were divided over means of transportation.

Reports have it that as early as 7:30am yesterday, most of the delegates were on their way to Abuja, where they were billed to catch chartered flights arranged by two aspirants, leaving a small number of them to travel by road on five buses provided by the state secretariat of the party. It was learnt that two aspirants made provisions for air trips for delegates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, while the state party leadership said that they made provisions for other delegates to travel by road, using five buses.

This development divided the delegates with some preferring to join either of the two aircraft chartered by the two aspirants, while some remained loyal to the state party hierarchy and travelled by road.

State party spokesman, Abubakar Hassan, said the party provided five buses, two of them to take off from Lafia, one in Akwanga, and two in Keffi. He said all delegates were expected to remain as one group and comply with the party’s arrangement for their means of trip to Lagos, adding that “we are travelling as a family.”

But some delegates said that when they left Lafia and Akwanga in the morning, they decided to travel by the chartered flights because they did not want to suffer during the road journey when they had the option to leave by flight. A delegate said: “We decided we will go to Abuja and travel by air. The provision is made for us. Why should anybody say we shouldn’t utilise what is provided for us.”

Another delegate said that he was aware of the implication on him and those who chose to leave by air, added: “We are adults, the party can’t coerce us. The governor declared the other day that there will be no coercion, why then is the party trying to force us when we have better alternatives to travel to Lagos?”

Credit: Daily Trust

APC Situation Report: Can Buhari Count on Tinubu?

The five APC presidential aspirants have been campaigning hard over the last few months and have failed to heed appeals by party leaders to settle on a consensus candidate.

The atmosphere in Lagos is charged and there is excitement in the air as the aspirants make last minute maneuvers towards wooing delegates.
Attention is now being paid to party delegates as each candidate now employs different strategies to win their votes.

Reports have it that the aspirants have all booked rooms for delegates across the 36 states of the federation. The national leaders of the party have also been playing a key role in providing the beacon for delegates. These leaders are personified by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the strongman of the party.

The pre-convention activities indicated that Tinubu is playing a major role in ensuring that Buhari carries the day by relying on bloc votes from the South-West at the convention.