Oshiomhole Emerges ‘Consensus’ Candidate For APC National Chair

Posted on June 22, 2018 || By: Global News

Ahead of the elective convention of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is coasting home to victory unchallenged as the national chairman of the party following the sudden withdrawal of the last contender, Dr. Clement Ebri, from the race barely 24 hours to the contest. Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State, cited “desire to ensure rancour-free convention” at the reason for his decision. LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that other contestants, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, a former Edo State governor, and Chief Ibrahim Emokpaire, had in a similar manner backed out of the race and even pledged their support to Oshiomhole. In a statement last night, Dr. Ebri said: “Following deep consultations with my family, friends, associates, party leaders and other stakeholders in the APC, I have reached the decision to withdraw my candidacy from the race of the national chairmanship of the APC.” He said his decision was taken in the overall interest of the party and his belief that participants must “row in the smart rancour-free direction as we approach the general election”. …Candidates To Emerge Through Affirmation, Voice Votes Also, as a build-up to the elective convention, candidates who have been cleared for the contest for various national offices were yesterday given certificates for participation at the party’s convention secretariat in Abuja. Giving an idea as to how delegates will emerge, the secretary of the convention committee, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, said: “There is a contest, clearly. Where there is one candidate, they (delegates) will either vote by affirmation or through voice vote. “Everybody has a right to vote and to present himself to be voted for. So the issue of consensus cannot come from us. The issue of consensus can either come from the candidates themselves or stakeholders from their different zones. “I think 20 positions are unopposed but as we get close to the convention, there will be a lot of horse-trading and I believe many more zones will be able to agree on a few positions. We have a number of court processes which we are reviewing and, I am sure, by this night a clear position will emerge.” …Eyes On National Secretary Position However, the race for the position of the national secretary seems to be the cynosure of all eyes as contestants continue to battle for the office despite the reported ‘anointed candidate’ and incumbent, Mai Mala Buni. Another frontline contender for the office of the national scribe, Hon. Abdulrahman Terb, has punctured the idea of reserving the office for a so-called anointed candidate for the office, as he insisted that a true democratic process should be allowed to play out. Terab stated that the office was too sensitive to allow a candidate to emerge without election, adding that contesting positions was one of the beauties of democracy. …Security beefed up in Abuja Meanwhile, security operatives have been put on red alert ahead of the APC national convention in Abuja tomorrow. Speaking to LEADERSHIP Friday, a top security officer, who is not authorised to speak on the matter, said adequate preparations had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free congress. The source said personnel of the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies had been deployed to ensure a peaceful congress. He also called on the public not to panic as the Nigerian security agencies are prepared to ensure the protection of life and property of every delegate. …6,800 delegates to vote at convention Ahead of the long awaited APC elective convention coming up tomorrow, preparations are on top gear to ensure a hitch-free convention as the Planning Committee yesterday inspected the Eagle Square, venue of the event. Security personnel from the different security agencies and various workers were seen at the venue working to get the venue for the political exercise. No fewer than 6,800 delegates are expected to cast their votes for various offices, some of which are expected be tightly contested. The chairman of the media subcommittee for the convention planning committee and governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, told journalists at the Eagle Square in Abuja that the APC was prepared for the convention even as he hinted that some aspirants may drop from the race before the convention. Ajimobi said, “We are very happy about all the preparations; everything is in place. You will see what we call a very professional arrangement tomorrow. “Politics is about conflict and resolution and today we are meeting many of the aspirants. We look at them, we interview them, then there will be give and take so that it’ll be a smooth operation on Saturday.” On his part, the chairman of the convention subcommittee for accreditation, Mr. Ahmed Yarima, said there will be thorough screening and accreditation of the delegates attending the convention from all the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “There is not just one card; there is something that you present at the gate to be checked on the list, because we are not having opportunity to put photographs of delegates, but at least we are going to put numbering and security code so that as soon as you come to the gate, you are properly identified, screened and then you enter. “Even to vote inside, you also have another card that you present before you can be allowed to vote,” he explained. … All hotels in Abuja fully booked All hotels in Abuja have been fully booked ahead of tomorrow’s national convention of the APC. A quick check on most hotels in the FCT revealed that over 90 per cent of them were fully booked, with some hotels charging additional fees to accommodate their clients. LEADERSHIP Friday went to town and observed that hotels were no longer accepting customers as they were already over-stretched. The Sheraton Hotels, when contacted, said there was no vacant room. It was the same for Oxford Hotel which is a stone throw from the Sheraton. Enquiries by LEADERSHIP Friday showed that hotels like Luziana Hotel, Jades, Sandrialia, Chida, Cassalinda, Green Land Hotel, 3 J’s, Bolton White, Gombe Jewel, Nanet, Chelsea, Agura and Transcorp Hotels, which range from 5-star to 3-star facilities, charged their clients between N10,000 and N70,000 per night. nPDP Members Will Attend APC Convention – Baraje Contrary to insinuations, aggrieved members of the APC in the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) fold will attend and participate fully in the party’s convention in Abuja tomorrow. The leader of the group, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, disclosed this yesterday in a statement by his media office in Ilorin, Kwara State. Baraje, who had been leading other members of nPDP in their consultations with the APC leadership, just returned from Saudi Arabia where he had gone to perform the lesser Hajj on Wednesday. He stated that his group had no reason not to attend the convention. “We are looking forward to the Saturday convention. We will be at the convention, and after that we shall see how things unfold,” he said. According to him, as a member of the convention committee of the party , he attended a meeting once with other members of the committee, but that after that initial meeting, he had not had the chance to attend subsequent ones. Reacting to statements, reactions and counter reactions about the reports in some media that President Muhammadu Buhari was not interested in meeting with the members of the nPDP, Baraje said though he was not privy to such statement and could not be certain of its veracity, he, however, disclosed that the group, or himself as the leader of the group, would not officially give its position for now. He explained that when it was necessary for the presidency to invite them for discussion, they will invite the group as they are also waiting. On allegations that names of some people not in the fold of the mainstream APC in Kwara State were included as part of members of the Convention Committee of the party, Baraje said he was not aware of such development, and that he or any member of his group had not been briefed, either by the presidency, the party leadership or the chairman of the convention committee about the nomination of such names. However, he said if such thing happened, it would be part of the issues to be raised at the eventual meeting with the presidency when such meeting is called. According to him, an enlarged membership of the group would meet in the evening of yesterday (Thursday) to take a common stand on their positions

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