Oshiomhole to contest APC presidential ticket

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Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole is said to be warming up to join the 2015 presidential race.

Oshiomhole, who is serving out his second term, is expected to slug it out with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Bukola Saraki, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), and Governor Rochas Okorocha (Imo) as well as former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Gen. Buhari and Senator Bukola Saraki, are yet to officially declare their interest in the contest, just as party sources revealed that more members may show interest in due course.

Governor Oshiomhole, it was gathered, has already completed consultations at home and abroad on his aspiration and was said to be in the United Kingdom and the United States of America (USA) recently as part of the consultations.

He is said to have received encouragement to join the race from friends, including foreigners who have followed his switch from labour to politics and governance.

His backers are convinced that Oshiomhole stands a good chance of making it to Aso Rock Villa since the PDP has conceded its own ticket slot to President Goodluck Jonathan from the South-south.

The permutation is that the choice of Oshiomhole might serve as a counter-balancing force to Jonathan in the zone should the APC concede the slot to the South-south.

However, there the recent election of John Odigie-Oyegun from the same zone as the party’s National Chairman, is believed to be a major snag to Oshiomhole’s ambition.

A source familiar with the development said Oshiomhole has been “looking at the larger picture and not geopolitical calculation.”

“The comrade governor, is considering the need for a leader to salvage the nation rather than any other calculation,” the source said.

“This is why he has been meeting with leaders at home and abroad on his aspiration and how to rescue the nation. He has concluded consultations and he is of the strong opinion that he should vie for the office.

“The governor is interested in the presidential race. He will make his intention known soon. As a former labour leader, he believes he has a bigger constituency to lead the APC to victory in 2015 if he gets the ticket.

“The governor will make a declaration as soon as the APC releases the guidelines in line with INEC’s timetable.”

The governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Prince Kassim Afegbua, confirmed the interest of his boss in the Presidency.

“This has always been our interest because some of us would not want the Comrade Governor to squander his enormous political capital across the country without giving a shot at the highest office in the land.

“He has tremendous courage, brilliance and capacity to contend with developmental issues in the country; ingredients that are presently needed to provide problem-solving leadership at the center.

“Give it to this great former Labour leader that he is one Nigerian who believes so much in the unity of the country and is ready to go to any length to preserve that unity.

“Nigerians need a leader like Comrade Oshiomhole at this time to galvanize all the centrifugal and centripetal forces into a national aspiration to lift the country from its present prostrate state to some kind of Olympian height in a clear headed attempt to earn our cherished position amongst nations of the world,” Afegbua said.

He added that “He will wait for the party to blow the whistle but he will test his presidential participation through the primaries. It will be our hope that the members of the APC consider him worthy of this noble cause in the build-up to the 2015 elections. To answer your question, yes, he will contest.”

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