2023 Presidential Race: APC, PDP Open Fight

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential Special Convention, former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has vowed to crush the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which he mocked as ‘geckos’  in the presidential poll slated for 2003.

Tinubu had defeated 13 others to set up an electoral challenge with Atiku Abubakar, who clinched the main opposition party’s ticket on May 28.

Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rivals, former minister of transportation, Mr.  Rotimi Amaechi who scored 316 votes and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who garnered 235 votes.

In his acceptance speech, Tinubu stressed the need for unity, cohesion and understanding among all party members to ensure electoral victory for the party.

He said he held no grudges against those who contested against him, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure PDP is stopped from coming back to power in 2023.

“The competition is now over, those who did not support me, you have nothing to fear. I hold no grudges or grievances.

“Let us each agree to join hands in defeating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and beating back our common foes of poverty, terror and violence.

“We now have a date with destiny in February 2023, let us win so Nigeria can become the nation it is intended to be.”

He added: “Today is another historic day and we thank God Almighty that we are alive to witness today. This victory has gone beyond the party and has become a Nigerian project….

“Now that we are here, we will roar, we will develop the building. Tell the Property Development Party, the PDP, that we are capable enough to fix Nigeria.

“Then to the Progressive Governors Forum, we are truly progressive. We are confident that this nation is back on track. I didn’t know what I did that gave you the confidence to nominate me as the candidate of the party. We will worry and eliminate the intruders in the party. No intruders, no destroyers can bring Nigeria backward.

“I must thank our men in uniform for their sacrifices and fight for the survival of this country. You will certainly get reward and enjoy your sweat.

He promised insurgents and bandits hard times.

“We are not the barbaric human they think we are. The Bible told us to love our neighbours not to kill them. We have to learn to accept mistakes not to take lives. The hate you spill cannot cure your hunger. We have to learn to tolerate one another. We are all human beings that should leave together. We have to be tolerant and perseverance. Don’t take the lives you did not create.”

•APC confident of victory –Lawan

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the emergence of Tinubu has reassured the party of winning the presidential poll.

In a letter of congratulations he personally signed, Lawan said outcome of the election process had shown that Tinubu was the popular choice of his party.

The letter read: “The Presidential Primary of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the 2023 general election has come and gone.

“I am elated and proud that the Presidential primary was manifestly free and fair, and conducted within our APC family under a most convivial atmosphere.

“The success of the event demonstrates the capacity of our great party to run its internal affairs smoothly and devoid of rancour.

“As Your Excellency is aware, I offered myself alongside your good self and other patriotic members of the party to fly its highly coveted flag in the 2023 presidential election,” he said.

He said that he did so in the belief that he had the knowledge base, ideas, experience and desire to provide leadership for our dear country at these most trying times.

“However, the outcome of the election process has shown that Your Excellency is the popular choice of our party for that assignment.

“I do not have an iota of doubt in the wisdom of that decision by our party’s delegates from across the country.

“I have no doubt that with your credentials, experience, antecedents and political sagacity, our great party will go into the 2023 contest confident of victory,”Lawan said.

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), yesterday, congratulated former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for securing the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 presidential ticket.

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SMBLF consists of Afenifere, representing the South West; Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, representing the South East, the Middle Belt Leaders Forum (MBF), representing the Middle Belt and  Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), representing the South South.

MBF President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, said the South East deserved the ticket more than the South West, but that the body is all the same, contended that a southern candidate emerged from the platform of one of the major political parties.

He pledged that members of the forum would work together and ensure that a southern candidate wins the 2023 presidential election.

“One, we commend the APC for selecting a southern candidate, two we congratulate Bola Ahmed Tinubu on winning the ticket, three, we commend President Buhari for keeping to his words, and four we also commend Gov Akeredolu for standing firm on insisting on a southern candidate emerged from their platform. What is important now is how a southern candidate will win the election. We are all committed on the emergence of a southern president in 2023, there are many southern candidates and Tinubu has emerged from the platform of a major party. Going from our analysis, the South East deserved it more than the South West, but all the same we are happy that a southern candidate has emerged from a major political party.”

National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi said the emergence of Tinubu on the platform of APC is delightful.

He said the APC has met the “minimum condition of fielding a Southern candidate.”

Afenifere has been in the forefront of organisations advocating power must shift to the southern part of Nigeria come 2023.

“For power to move to the South, there must be southern candidate or candidates. That was why we were strident in our calls on the political parties to field Southern candidates in the forthcoming presidential election.

“It is our hope, indeed our demand, that the next president must get the country restructured immediately on assumption of office if the present administration under retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari failed to do so before leaving office. The next administration owes us the duty of ensuring that the country is not only safe for everybody, the operational system must be such that no section or group would be in a position to dominate the other. In summing up, the emergence of a person of Southern extraction is highly welcomed. It is our hope that this will translate into power shifting to the South come 2023.”

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