Buhari Wins APC Ticket, Pledges To Fight Corruption, Atiku, Others Accept Defeat

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 By Neul Suji, from Lagos.

A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, has emerged the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He defeated four other aspirants to win the ticket by polling 3,430 votes at the party’s national convention held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, scored 954 votes while Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State got 974 votes.

Governor Rochas Okorocha scored 624 votes while the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, got 10 votes.

Sixteen votes were considered invalid and were therefore voided.

A total of 7,214 delegates were accredited to vote at the convention attended by the leaders of the opposition party.

Mr. Buhari, 72, was Nigeria’s military leader between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1985.

With his victory, Mr. Buhari, a retired military general, will now face President Goodluck Jonathan, whose adoption was ratified by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at its special convention in the early hours of Thursday, in the February 14 presidential election.

It would also be the fourth time the former military leader will be running for president. He lost in all three previous ones.

In 2003, Mr. Buhari contested on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, against former President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP.

He polled 12, 710,022 votes representing 32.17 per cent to Mr. Obasanjo’s 24,456,140 or 61.94 per cent.

In 2007, he ran again on the platform of the same party against the then outgoing governor of his home state, Katsina, Umaru Yar’Adua. He secured mere 6,605,299 votes or 18.72 per cent to Mr. Yar’Adua’s 26,638,063 or 69.82 per cent.

A former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, (rtd) has emerged the winner of the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential primaries held at Teslim Balogun stadium, Lagos.

Buhari polled 3,430 votes to emerge winner having defeated four other contestants in the race.

The Governor of Kano state, Mr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso recorded a total of 974 votes while former Vice President, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, scored 954 votes.

Governor of Imo state, Mr. Rochas Okorocha came distant third in the race scoring 624 votes while the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, recorded 10 votes.

Sixteen votes were considered invalid and were therefore voided.

A total of 7,214 delegates were accredited to vote at the convention attended by the leaders of the opposition party.

Chairman of the National Convention and former Governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who announced the results of the primaries Thursday, said Buhari scored 3,430 votes out of the 5,992 valid votes cast.

Mr. Atiku Abubakar and other aspirants have conceded victory and have congratulated the Buhari, assuring him of their support.

Abubakar described the exercise as the most transparent party primary ever conducted by a political party in Nigeria.

“I am very confident that you will provide the needed leadership to turn this country around. I have no doubt that you will work with dedicated and qualified Nigerians to protect our citizens, improve our economy, create jobs, improve education, reform governance and fight corruption. You will indeed bring the change Nigerians have been yearning for. Once more, congratulations.” Abubakar said.

Earlier, Fayemi, in his address appealed to Nigerians, who he said were desperately seeking change, hence, constrained from actively participating in partisan politics towards bringing about the change due to their cynicism about the internal dynamics of political parties.

He promised the party would showcase the spirit of sportsmanship and the love for the greater good which were the pillars upon which the party was built, adding the opposition would prove it was possible for patriots from every nook and cranny of the country to congregate to determine an outcome on a crucial issue for which interests were disparate and the stakes were high.

Buhari will again be facing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, President Goodluck Jonathan in the general elections scheduled for next year February.