Over 6,800 delegates converged at the Eagle Square, Abuja in June to elect a new set of leaders for the governing All Progressives Congress.
The same number or more are again expected today, Saturday, October 6, to affirm President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the party for the 2019 presidential election.
Mr Buhari had already polled impressive results in the direct method of election adopted by the party to choose its presidential candidate.
The incumbent president was the only one who picked and returned nominations forms.
In the direct mode of election, all card carrying party members line up in front of a picture display of their candidates and officials count the number of votes (people on que) that each person garners openly.
The election of Mr Buhari by party members took place last Friday while he was in faraway New York, USA attending the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Despite his absence, the president’s popularity among party members was visible.
The national leadership of the APC had earlier appointed state governors and party leaders in states not governed by the party as returning officers. Most of the governors announced high number of votes for the president.
Mr Buhari was said to have polled over 2.9 million votes in Kano, over 800,000 in his home state, Katsina and over 700 votes in Bauchi, among others. In all, the president scored between 98 to 100 per cent of total votes cast in the election.
But, is that a sign of victory in 2019?
How It All Began
Before finally clinching the presidency in 2015, Mr Buhari unsuccessfully ran for the office in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
In 2003, Mr Buhari ran under the platform of the defunct, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and he came second behind then incumbent, Olusegun Obasanjo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Buhari scored 12,710,022 votes representing 32.19 per cent of total votes cast. Mr Obasanjo scored 24,456,140 votes, representing 61.94 per cent to emerge victorious. That election was reported by most observers as being highly flawed.
In the 2007 election, Mr Buhari again ran under the platform of the ANPP and lost to the late Umaru Yar’adua of the PDP. While Mr Yar’adua scored 24,638,063 (69.82 per cent), Mr Buhari scored 6,605,299 (18.72 per cent).
Like in the 2003, the 2007 election was also adjudged highly flawed by both domestic and foreign observers as well as the international community. In fact, even the elected President, Mr Yar’adua, admitted that the election that brought him to office was flawed.
Former President Umar Yar’Adua
In 2011, Mr Buhari was again on the ballot, this time, as the candidate of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), a party he formed after he fell out with a cross section of the leadership of his former party, ANPP.
In that election, Mr Buhari scored 12,214,853 (31.98%) of total votes which again, makes him the runner up to incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of PDP. Mr Jonathan scored 22,495,187 (58.89 per cent) of the votes.
In the aftermath of all the elections, Mr Buhari challenged the outcome in the judiciary, always ending up at the Supreme Court, without success.
In 2015, Mr Buhari’s political fortune finally changed for the better. He defeated incumbent Jonathan of the PDP to win the presidency under the platform of a newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC).
Former President Goodluck Jonathan
APC is born out of a merger of former opposition parties, the ACN, CPC, ANPP and a faction of APGA.
In the election held in March 2015, Mr Buhari scored 15,424,921 (53.96 per cent), while Mr Jonathan scored 12,853,162 (44.96 per cent).
There were media reports that Mr Buhari had pledged to do only one term if elected as president in 2015. However, as preparations for another round of elections in 2019 began to hit up, the president gave the hint that he will seek re-election, in an address to Nigerians based in Cote D’ Ivoire.
The president arrived late to the interactive session and told the gathering that he had to wait for the two governors in his entourage to accompany him to the meeting because of their electoral value.
“First I want to apologise for keeping you for too long sitting, this is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting.
“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up,” Mr Buhari said to thunderous laughter and clapping by the audience.
Again, while on a visit to Kano state, Mr Buhari gave the same hint at seeking a second term when he told a gathering at the Government House that he was sure Kano State would vote for him, going by the huge number of people that came out to receive and show him support.
The president eventually formally declared his intention to run again, in a short address to members of APC National Executive Committee (NEC), at a meeting in Abuja.
Some of APC’s presidential direct primary election
Abia – 455,656
Adamawa – 263,945
Anambra – 248,268
Bauchi – 786,032
Bayelsa – 210,201
Benue – 259,130
Borno – 1,254,111
Edo – 505,827
Imo – 697,532
Jigawa – 202,599
Kaduna – 1, 956, 500
Kano – 2, 931,235
Katsina – 802,819
Kebbi – 123,000
Kogi – 387,003
Rivers – 388,653
Sokoto – 472,344
Zamfara – 247,847
Sign of things to come?
The results of the presidential primary election show that Mr Buhari still enjoys the support of his party members. Their commitment to his re-election bid is palpable because despite the fact that he is the only candidate, many chose to come out to vote, to show their support to his candidacy.
However, the major opposition party, the PDP has criticised the Buhari Presidency and the APC for “posting fictitious figures” as votes secured by Mr Buhari at the APC presidential primary, “just to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of massive support for President Buhari”.
The presidency on the other hand, said the outcome of the presidential primaries, is a major boost to Mr Buhari’s success at next year’s general election.
The true picture of the nation’s political terrain can only be confirmed in February next year when the general populace go to the polls to vote for the candidate of their choice.
OAU Professor Allegedly Involved In Sex-For-Marks Scandal To Be Arraigned By ICPC
Mr Akindele was accused of demanding sex from one of his students, Ms. Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.
In a statement by the spokesman of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa,Professor Akindele will be docked on Monday 19th November 2018, on a 3-count charge having been accused of using his position as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting to demand for sexual benefit from a student and fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.
The Commission says that his actions were contrary to Sections 8 (1) (a) (ii), and 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and are punishable under the same sections.
One of the counts reads, “That you, professor Akindele, on or about the 16th day of September, 2017 at Ile-Ife did corruptly ask for sexual benefits for yourself from Ms. Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterwards shown to her by you in the discharge of your official duties as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, to wit; altering her academic grades in the course with code MBA 632- Research Method from fail to pass; and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The 57-year-old professor has asked for plea-bargain having admitted guilt. He also cited ill-health as a factor that may make him unable to stand the rigours of prison life, notifying the Commission through his lawyer, Omotayo Alade-Fawole.
He pleaded that his prayers for plea-bargain be considered, more so as he was already serving punishment for his offence having been sacked by the university.
Ms. Osagie had earlier expressed a lack of confidence in the capacity of ICPC to give her a fair hearing.
According to the commission, the public announcement of the professors impending arraignment is in fulfillment of its promise to the public to avail them of the outcome of the investigation in due time.
Traditional Ruler Arrested Over Alleged N15.5m Fraud
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement made available to TribuneOnline, said the arrest of the traditional ruler followed a petition written by the management of a real estate firm against the traditional ruler.
DSP Oyeyemi said the company approached the traditional ruler for the purchase of about 23 acres of land in his domain, which was negotiated for N15.5 million, and the company paid the amount to the suspect after showing them the land.
“Surprisingly, some months after the payment was made, the traditional ruler started selling the same portion of land to another set of people, and before the company knew what was going on, he had sold 17 acres out of the 23 acres.
“As a result of the petition, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, directed the officer in charge Public Complaints Bureau to look into the case and bring the suspect to book.
“The traditional ruler was subsequently arrested, and on interrogation, he admitted collecting the said amount of money from the complainant after showing them the land.
“He stated further that it was when he needed some money for his coronation that he was tempted to sell parts of the already sold land,” DSP Oyeyemi stated.
The police spokesperson said CP Iliyasu had ordered a thorough investigation into the case, and that the suspect would be arraigned in court in accordance with the anti-land grabbing laws of Ogun State.
Court orders forfeiture of N300m bonds over Kanu’s absence
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N300 million bail bonds by sureties to Nnamdi Kanu following their failure to produce him in court on Tuesday.
Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the money be deposited in the court’s bank account and not the Federal Givernment’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) before the next adjourned date on March 28, 2019.
The judge ruled that the sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuel Shalom, and an Abuja-based accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, would be given six months to argue their applications challenging the forfeiture.
However, the co-accused to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were present as their trial on three count-charges bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and setting up illegal broadcast stations, continued.
Earlier, prosecution counsel Suleiman Labaran asked the court to order the sureties to show cause why the N100m bail bond for each of the them should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
But counsel to Abaribe, Chukwu Machukwu-Ume (SAN) said the lawmaker went on an oversight function with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.
Justice Binta Nyako threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Abaribe and Uchendu, who was said to be ill. Shalom was present in court.
The sureties had filed separate applications asking the court to stop their suretyship on the ground that they can no longer perform that responsibility because of some supervening and exceptional circumstances.
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