Buhari, Atiku in close race as APC presidential primary begins


Ahead of the 2015 polls, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) will today begin their two-day national conventions to elect their presidential candidate.

Former Head of State, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, his Imo State counterpart Rochas Okorocha and Leadership Newspapers publisher, Sam Nda-Isaiah, will slug it out at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

APC’s spokesman, Lai Mohammed said that the convention which will hold at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos will have over 8,000 delegates drawn across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja participate in the exercise.

“The five presidential aspirants are expected to address the delegates to explain their programmes before the commencement of voting, which he disclosed would be by secret ballot,” he said.

While he said the National Convention Committee (NCC) headed by former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi has put adequate arrangements in place for a hitch-free convention, Mohammed disclosed that the various sub-committees were also working round the clock to ensure success of the exercise.

He added that the party was also collaborating with relevant agencies to ensure effective security, crowd control, traffic management and medical attention among others.

Our correspondents gathered that despite their campaign for the Presidency ticket, governors Kwankwaso and Okorocha have reserved senatorial and governorship seats as fallback.

Okorocha allegedly used his son in-law and Commissioner for Land, Uche Nwosu, to hold the seat pending the outcome of the presidential primaries.

Although not in the open or official, investigation revealed that it was because of the arrangement that APC governorship primary election did not hold in Imo like other states some days ago.

The plan, according to the findings, is that if Okorocha loses out in the presidential contest today, he will leverage on the party’s national leadership to pick the governorship ticket and contest for a second term in office.

Just like Okorocha, Kwankwaso has also reserved the Kano Central senatorial ticket of the party as there was no primary election for the seat during the party’s national assembly primaries in the state.

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