The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has assured delegates of the All Progressives Congress of solving Nigeria’s challenges. He gave the assurance at the ongoing national convention of APC in Abuja.
The presidential aspirant urged the delegates to vote for the aspirant they believe in. He also asked the delegates to vote for an aspirant they trust. According to the VP, Nigeria can have a first-class health care system, and education with the right leadership.
Osinbajo said, “I know your hopes and fears. I am prepared for the task that lies ahead and I will be ready from Day One. I will deliver. “You can’t wish this country well and vote for someone you don’t believe in. Your vote carries the answer to the prayer prayed for the future of our country and the future of our children.
“To our dear delegates, when you vote tonight, know that your vote carries the answer to your prayers for our country and its future. Vote for someone you believe in. Vote for someone you trust. It is for these reasons that I present myself to you for your consideration as the presidential candidate of our great party.”
Selected members of APC have gathered to vote on Tuesday in key primaries to choose a candidate for next year’s election to replace the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). More than 2,300 APC delegates will select a candidate to face 75-year-old Atiku Abubakar of the opposition People’s Democratic Party among others in the February 25 presidential ballot.
Buhari, who is stepping down after the two terms he is allowed in the constitution, arrived at the Eagle Square convention centre early in the evening before voting was to start. The Nigerian leader has spent the days leading up to the convention in negotiations with the APC’s leaders seeking unity over a party candidate. “The fate of the party depends on what we do here,” APC party chairman Abdullahi Adamu said, echoing Buhari’s call for unity in the ranks. We cannot go into the general election next year without putting our house together.”
Part of the APC’s debate over candidates relates to “zoning” – an unofficial agreement among political elites that Nigeria’s presidency should rotate between those from the predominantly Christian south and those from the largely Muslim north. After northern Buhari, observers expected the presidency to go to a candidate from the south.
But the PDP – which held its primary on May 28 and 29 – chose Abubakar, a former vice president and a political stalwart who is a northern Muslim. The opposition’s choice to ignore “zoning” has made the APC reconsider how their candidate will appeal to the north, where voter numbers and participation are traditionally higher.
Buhari, who is the leader of the ruling party, has not declared support for any candidate and instructed APC members to “allow the delegates to decide. Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections,” he said last week.
Heavy security was deployed in central Abuja early Tuesday and streets were gridlocked as hundreds of APC supporters wearing the party colours of green, white and red gathered in and around the venue.