2023: Now that 4 APC senators joined race to win party ticket….

Ahead of the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), coming up in two weeks time, four serving senators are among the 22 contenders. TAIYE ODEWALE reports

Meaning of presidential primaries 

Presidential primaries of the various political parties take place at elective national convention for the sole purpose of electing the  presidential candidate of a political party ahead of a general election which in this case, is the 2023 general elections.

Crowd of aspirants in APC  
The All Progressives Congress (APC) being the ruling party, has the highest number of party men and women aspiring to be the presidential candidate of the party in the February 25, 2023 general election.
Among the leading contenders in the party are the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was the first to make his aspiration known on the 10th of January this year , the Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umayi and his counterpart in Kogi state , Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. 
Other early contenders are Chief Rochas Okorocha who made official declaration to that effect on the 31st of January this year , Vice President Yemi Osibanjo;  former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonaya Onu  and former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu.

Others are Pastor Tunde Bakare; Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his counterpart from Jigawa state, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; and former Zamfara State governor, Senator  Ahmed Yerima.
Also on the list are Senator Ajayi Borroffice; the only female aspirant, Mrs Uju Kennedy Ohnenye;  Pastor Nicholas Felix Nwagbo; former Speaker of Representative, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; Senate President, Dr Ahmad  Lawan AfBD Managing Director, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; former Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva; former of Information, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu and Mr Tein Jack Rich.Minister .

The four Senators among the contenders
As contained in the list, out of the 25 Presidential aspirants that submitted form, only four are serving Senators.

They are the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

Mode of sponsorship 

While Okorocha, Amosun and Boroffice, procured N100million  nomination and expression of interest forms at different times from their pockets, Ahmad Lawan’s form was procured for him by a group under the aegis of National Project Stability.
The group led by Chief Sam Nkire declared in Abuja last week Monday that they bought the form for the Senate President being a stabilizer Nigeria needed at the moment.
He said membership of the National Stability Project cuts across the 36 States  of the Federation and 774 local  government Councils. 
The membership he added, cuts across the  strata of the Nigerian society in both the public and private sectors .
“After thorough research on all those that have signified their interests in the race vis – a – vis the challenges on ground, we felt that a stabilizer is needed and saw that stabilising factor and qualities in the President of the Senate , Distinguished Senator Ahmad Lawan. 
“With him, Nigeria will surely be taken to the next level on all fronts. He has done it in the National Assembly and he will do better if given the opportunity to serve at the highest level “, he said. 
Accepting the offer, the Senate President described the moment as memorable and historic and indeed, clarion call to serve.
“Today is a special day with the Clarion call made on me to serve by Nigerians through the movement known as National Stability Project.
“Nigeria needs to be taken to the next level on positive templates and I’m ready to help in facilitating that.
“This is our journey , every hand must be on deck. I won’t circumvent the rules but will go from door to door for the required buy in, of Nigerians on this project 
“I place my trust fully, totally and completely on the Almighty God in my commitment of taking Nigeria to the next level”, he said.
He thanked the National Stability Project movement for the call and form procured to that effect and promised not to disappoint them and Nigerians.
Galaxy of Senators who were at the nomination form presentation and Presidential declaration of Ahmad Lawan included the Deputy President of the Senate , Senator Ovie Omo – Agege, the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Senator Sani Musa, Senator Jibrin Barau, Senator Bello Mandiya etc.
Boroffice in his own declaration in Abuja last Saturday said , “My agenda for the development of Nigeria is codified in four pillars of Security, Economic Development, Education and Human Resources Development and Anti-Corruption Crusade.
“At this critical time of Nigeria’s history, there is a need for a visionary leader, a leader with sterling records, a leader without baggage, a leader for all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religious and gender with the courage to navigate the country out of problems”.
Amosun in his own declaration last week  promised to transform the country within four years with “unprecedented investment” in human security.
“Guided by the unprecedented investment in human security, the integration of the eight areas of this carefully planned agenda for national reawakening will, within four years, unleash unparalleled human resources that will make Nigeria proud of their motherland.
“It bears repeating that Nigeria has the required manpower, both at home and abroad to accomplish this agenda. Under my leadership, we will mobilise Nigeria’s immense human and natural resources to rebuild our education sector, healthcare, infrastructure, including electricity, roads and water supply,” he  said.
With presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ,just about two weeks from now, time will tell whether any of the four serving senators in the race will clinch the party’s ticket.

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