March 20, 2019

Convention: Tinubu, APC govs back Oshiomhole for National Chairman

Governors under the platform of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and ex-interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande have jointly endorsed candidature of former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole as the next party’s chairman.

The governors, who addressed journalists in separate interviews on Tuesday when they visited former Edo governor’s campaign office, located at Aso Drive, Maitama District in Abuja said they were there to show support and solidarity to the man they said they deemed fit for the job.

Briefing journalists before proceeding to check the facility, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu stressed that all the governors elected on the platform of the party were in support of Oshiomhole’s bid.

“All of us. Our party is looking forward to chairmanship Adams Oshiomole,” he stressed.

He continued, “He has experience in various aspects of national life and we are all confident that party is a structure that it is necessary for the continuous evolution and maintenance of democracy and his collective experience in the recent past as executive governor of Edo state, one of the most successful leaders of trade union, and a democratic activist all his life.

“These qualities will be brought to bear in achieving the ideas of the APC. So, we believe he will be a leader, he will be the embodiment of the spirit of the party and the experience will help him to make contribution to governance.”

When asked if there were other candidates aside Oshiomhole governors are supporting, Bagudu said, “I am not the chairman of the Progressives Governor’s Forum, but I can tell you that Adams Oshiomhole is my candidate as a governor and all the governors I know, he is their candidate for chairmanship.

“We believe that we have identified someone who can do the job and will be able to start and in that spirit to demonstrate by coming together. We believe he is the best fit for the job.”

In his part, Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, told journalists that, “he is one of us, that is why we had to come and identify with him here and you know what that means. You know he is running for the office of the chairman of the party, so we have to come and identify with him.”

Responding to a question that whether identifying with Oshiomhole meant he had been adopted by the governors, he said, “Well, I am not the chairman of the governors forum. So, I should not be speaking for the governors. But let’s just say I know for me and for us in Ogun State, we are supporting him.”

Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State who also walked in told newsmen that he was in attendance to show his support likewise other governors.

“You know Kano State has the largest number of delegates to the national convention and by seeing me here, it means all the votes from Kano State will go to the former governor of Edo State. In fact, it seems numerically, he is winning the election before the election,” Ganduje said.

Speaking on behalf of Ondo State delegates, the governor said, “It’s so clear even to a blind person to know that we don’t rarely have a contest for the office of the chairman.

“Be that as it is, I believe that when we come in in full force, you will see where our votes are, that is if there is ever any contest. But I am sure that we are here to savour the office of the incoming chairman of our party,” Akeredolu said.

Other governors who were at the office include: Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong and a contestant for the position of chairman, Emokpaire Ibrahim, who earlier announced his withdrawal.

Also, Tinubu spoke to journalists shortly after he and Akande met with Oshiomhole behind closed-doors.

He disclosed that his visit was meant to show solidarity with the former Edo State governor as well as to further strengthen the party to work for Nigeria’s progress.

According to him, “My visit symbolises solidarity and unity of purpose to continue to bring a progressive party that will carry Nigeria in a progressive manner, (to bring about) good governance with courage and commitment.”

Responding to a question whether his visit was an endorsement of Oshiomhole’s aspirations, he said, “There is no doubt. I have worked with him, why should I have any doubt? The stuff of this game (politics) is that you win. Have you seen a democrat who is ready to lose? Just accept it, it is about choice.”

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