An anticipated bid by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt the consensus arrangement in picking its presidential aspirant may turn out to be hard nut to crack for the governing party, as one of its frontline presidential aspirants, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, insisted before the party’s presidential screening committee that he will never step down for any preferred candidate.
The APC national leader was among the twelve presidential aspirants screened yesterday by the party.
The screening of the APC presidential aspirants which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, was shrouded in secrecy, away from curious journalists who were restricted to the lobby at the reception of the five-star hotel.
The twelve presidential aspirants screened yesterday include Tinubu; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuiba, former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; fiery Lagos cleric and former vice presidential candidate to Muhammadu Buhari in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare.
Others are Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi; former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; the only female aspirant, Barr (Mrs) Uju Kennedy Ohnenye, and Pastor Nicholas Felix Nwagbo.
Tinubu who arrived at the screening venue at about 5:50pm had difficulty finding his way to the screening room at Transcorp Hotel as a crowd fell over themselves to welcome him with cheers and songs of praise.
LEADERSHIP gathered reliably that sitting right before the committee, Tinubu told members of the presidential screening panel that he won’t agree to a consensus under any circumstance.
His stance was said to have put him “at loggerheads with the whole panel.”
Other aspirants, apart from Tinubu and one of the presidential hopefuls, said they had no option but to bow to the whims of the party in the spirit of party supremacy in the event where the party chooses to settle for a consensus presidential candidate.
“Only two others had reservations. But essentially everyone agreed that the interest of the party is sacrosanct. Tinubu outrightly disagreed. He said the only circumstance he would agree is if he emerges as the consensus candidate,” a source close to the screening panel told this paper last night.
There were also concerns yesterday in the camp of the APC national leader following the appointment of a former national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, his estranged erstwhile political ally, as chairman of APC presidential screening panel.
Tinubu and Oyegun fell apart during the leadership crisis that consumed the latter, leading to the emergence of former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, as his successor.
Ohanaeze Denies Rejecting Atiku’s Emergence As PDP Presidential Candidate
On Monday, the apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, distanced itself from a statement rejecting former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 general elections.
Abubakar won the PDP presidential primary held last Saturday in Abuja.
His success in the primary election was contrary to the wishes of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo who expected the party to zone its presidential ticket to the South-East.
The group had reportedly said on Sunday that the people of the South-East would not vote for Abubakar in next year’s election.
However, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, the group described the report as the handiwork of mischief makers who were bent on causing confusion in the South-East.
The statement read: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a reckless publication currently circulating in the media indicating that Ohanaeze Ndigbo blasts Atiku and vows to work against his PDP candidacy in the 2023 polls; and that Atiku Abubakar, will never become Nigeria’s president.”
“The press release added that the Igbo will rise up against Atiku, adding that his presidential campaign would be rejected in the South-East.
“Ordinarily, Ohanaeze Ndigbo would have ignored the said press release, but silence in this circumstance will tend to give validity to such fallacy by the unsuspecting public.
“It is therefore imperative to inform that those behind the fake press release are mischief-makers, impostors, charlatans and unscrupulous social climbers who have shamelessly leeched on the invaluable footprints of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to issue press releases for narrow, perverse and illicit pecuniary interests. It is the unwholesome activities of such maladjusted, impish scaremongers that have been the bane of Igbo cohesion.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor has not issued any press statement on the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo will wait for the full outcome of the ongoing primaries by all the political parties before it can issue a press release about the Igbo position on the 2023 general election.”
Top Nollywood Actor Confirmed Dead
Nollywood actor, Gbadebo Osmond, is dead. His death was announced on social media by his colleagues who have taken to their respective pages to mourn him.
The cause of his death is not yet disclosed.
Taking to his IG page to mourn him, Yomi Fabiyi, wrote;
”So so sad and a deep PAINFUL LOSS, OSMOND GBADEBO.
You are a fighter and safe to say you have GONE TO REST. Ever jovial, Ever supportive, Ever Friendly.
Rest in Peace & Power.
Actress Ronke Oshodi who also mourned the deceased actor writing;
”It’s very……….. Hard for me to say good night Gbadebo O?ùmo but God knows the best. Rip my darling friend”
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.