Aspirants who lost primary working for Tinubu’s victory –APC chieftain
The North-West Zonal Chairman of All Progressives Congress Salihu Lukman, on Tuesday, disclosed that virtually all the aspirants who lost the presidential ticket to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the past party Convention are assiduously working for his victory. Lukman, who is also a member of the APC National Working Committee, made the claim in a statement titled, “Electoral contests and public expectations: Matching hopes with realities.”
Although Lukman refused to give names of the aspirants, political pundits doubted if the list included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, expressed confidence that the ruling party will sweep the 2023 general elections.
According to Lukman, the emergence of Tinubu as APC presidential candidate was a product of an internal party contest, where he squared up to about 21 other contestants and won resoundingly. This is even as he believed that victory for the national leader of the party at the February 25th presidential poll would return the party to its founding vision.
He said, “One of our prides today in APC is that after the convention that produced Asiwaju Tinubu as our presidential candidate, none of the aspirants who contested against him left the party. Instead, all of them are united behind him and are working for his victory.
“It may also be important to note that the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as APC’s presidential candidate was the product of strong internal contest. There may be temptation to narrow the contest to the dynamics around the question of whether there will be an anointed aspirant who would have been crowned as the consensus candidate, which wouldn’t have been Asiwaju Tinubu.
“The reality was that the contest for the choice of APC presidential candidate started way back during the tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the party. At that time, the issue confronting the party was that of broadening the internal democratic space within the party. Issues of accountability of party leaders under the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee to members were the challenges. Meetings of organs of the party such as National Executive Committee, National Caucus and Board of Trustees were the key challenge.
“At that time in 2019, there were attempts to suggest that many of us raising these issues were doing so because we were opposed to the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as the Presidential candidate of the party. But thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari’s unbiased disposition, eventually, Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC was dissolved and a caretaker committee under the leadership of His Excellency Mai Mala was appointed, with a short mandate of six months.”