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APC Presidential Primaries Finally Holds, Tinubu Emerges Candidate

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State beat 22 others to win the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 Presidential election. The APC had dithered with dates for its Presidential primaries, finally fixing it for June 6 to 8, after benefitting from an extension given by the hitherto reluctant Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The prelude to the Presidential primaries was filled with intrigues and uncertainties, with the party leadership appearing to be bent on foisting a consensus candidate as its flagbearer for the election. Indeed, party Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had on June 6, announced to the bewildered members of the party, the consensus candidate whose name he gave as Senator Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate from Yobe State, North-East Nigeria. This generated a lot of furore among other aspirants and internal disagreements from within the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, which he chairs. President Buhari was then forced to deny an approval for Lawan to be announced as consensus candidate.

Thereafter, the party’s primaries proceeded and 23 presidential aspirants who were cleared at the party’s screening exercise last week, took the stage to deliver their campaign speeches. Subsequently, voting took place throughout the night of Tuesday,  June 7, with results announced mid-day of Wednesday, June 8. In the result that was announced, Bola Ahmed Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rival, Rotimi Amaechi who scored a total of 316 votes. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan scored 235 and 152 votes, respectively.  Some aspirants had withdrawn from the contest right inside the venue with most of them urging delegates to vote for Bola Tinubu.

The primaries which was televised and watched live came out as organised belying the tension and intrigues that preceded it. Tinubu now joins former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State and now Labour Party Presidential Candidate, as three of the leading contestants for the Presidential election scheduled for February 25, 2023. The primaries of all the parties are expected to conclude on June 9, 2022, with parties expected to submit the list of all candidates for the various elective positions no later than June 17.