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Exclusive: How Tinubu emerged presidential candidate of APC

Former governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu made history on June 8, 2022 as he emerged the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election.

Since then, many Nigerians have been asking how he pulled it off despite the stiff opposition within his party.

A few days to his victory, the Southwest aspirants and governors feared that Mr. Rotimi Amaechi would be a threat to an aspirant from the Southwest emerging candidate after northern governors and President Muhammadu had agreed that a southerner should be candidate of the party.

As a result, they held a meeting and decided to adopt Tinubu as consensus candidate from Yorubaland, as they saw him as the most popular of all.

There were reports of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo not agreeing to step down for him and walking out of the meeting. There were also reports of APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu choosing Senate President, Ahmed Lawan as the consensus candidate of the party. The question on the lips of many political analysts then was: “is the party chairman acting alone?”

Many felt that Adamu was simply expressing the desire of President Buhari who never came out openly to support of any of the aspirants.

There was little time left. Tinubu was rattled. He was down but not out.

Osinbajo’s refusal to step down for him, and his party chairman choosing Lawan as consensus was a huge blow.

However, the governors stood their grounds that power must shift to the South.

Many people were surprised by the pro-south stance of the governors. What changed overnight. Why was it that few months to the election they weren’t strong on zoning and then almost the eve of the main day, they became radicals.

A source within the camp of Tinubu told NEWSWATCHplus that “Tinubu used his joker. It was his last card. Popularity and money alone won’t win you the party’s ticket. You need the backing of governors in the primaries. He promised the northern governors VP position. He held meetings with each and everyone of them privately, selling the idea of becoming running mate to them. Collectively, they came out guns blazing for him. As it stands they see themselves as potential running mates to Tinubu.”

The source further stated that their support for him was based on their personal ambition. With Osinbajo, it would be easy for a northern Muslim to emerge as running mate. But winning the main election would be almost impossible they thought. But with Tinubu as candidate, due to his popularity and doggedness they all feel they stand a chance of becoming Vice President.

They supported him, and the rest is history.

Full result below:

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – 1, 271 votes

Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajuba one vote

Pastor Tunde Bakare- zero votes

Sen. Ahmad Yarima – four votes

Sen. Rochas Okorocha – zero votes

Mr Tein Jack Rich – zero votes

Gov. Ben Ayade – 37 votes

Gov. David Umuahi – 38 votes

Dr Ahmed Lawan – 152 votes

Yemi Osinbajo- 235 votes

Mr Rotimi Amaechi- 316 votes

Gov. Yahaya Bello – 47 votes

Mr Ogbonnaya Onu – one vote

Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu- zero votes.

Yusuf Mohammed
Yusuf Mohammedhttp://yusufcolumnist@gmail.com
Yusuf Mohammed, an experienced Nigerian journalist, writer and editor, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and International Relations from Al-Hikmah University. He cut his journalism teeth at Business Hallmark newspaper in 2013. From Business Hallmark, he moved to New Telegraph newspaper where he was an editorial staff from 2015 – 2017. In 2017, he joined The Next Edition as a pioneer staff and helped to take it to the summit of online platforms. He had a second spell at Business Hallmark in 2019 before establishing The Columnist Ng, a platform dedicated to publishing articles of renowned Nigerian writers. Mohammed's writings have been published in several Nigerian newspapers and magazines such as Daily Trust, Premium Times, The Cable and Newswatch. His tribute to the late football great, Diego Maradona was published in three magazines, including Air Peace in-flight Magazine in 2020.
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