About 7,000 delegates from across the country are expected to endorse the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday at the special national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) holding in Abuja today.
The convention is a culmination of series of events which began with the special congresses to select delegates for the the convention which will be presided over by the National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and members of the National Working Committee of the party.
Initially, the convention was expected to also deliberate on the way forward for the party, but the convention committee headed by Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi said it will be a one-agenda event.
Addressing a news conference at the APC national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, Deputy Chairman of the convention committee and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said the confirmation and rectification of the candidacy of the President is a commitment to steady progressive and positive change.
Shettima, who stood in for Chairman of the Convention Committee, said: “Let me assure you that the nomination and ratification of the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari is a commitment to service, progressive and quality change.
“Despite some of the problems we have encountered during the primaries in our various states, the National Working Committee of the party is working assiduously to resolve all the issues. It is a family quarrel and we are going to sort things out amicably.
“The party is doing and will continue to do all it can to resolve all the issues amicably so that everyone can be carried along and we can all unite as one in order to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari is returned to the poll come February 2019.
“The current APC administration, led by our dear President, is making sure and steady progress and we cannot afford to drop the ball and return our great country to those dark days, especially the 16 wasted years preceding this administration.
“About 7,000 delegates from across the length and breadth of our great country, and all necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure security.
“The convention will commence by 2 pm tomorrow at the Eagles Square. The transport committee is making arrangements to reduce to the barest minimum the inconvenience it might cause Abuja residents.
“We moved the convention time from 9 am to 2 pm deliberately to accommodate delegates that are coming from far and near. Incidentally, people from Kogi, for instance, can be in Abuja within three hours.
“But believe me, all our delegates will be on ground by 2 pm.”
Shettima said the votes scored by the President during the Presidential primaries across the country was a highly guarded secret which will only be revealed during the national convention.
Asked whether the convention will consider and fill vacancies created by the exit of some members of the National Working Committee, especially the National Secretary and the National Publicity Secretary, Shettima said: “This convention is a special convention for the emergence of our Presidential flag bearer, no any other issue with be tabled beyond issues pertaining to the emergence of our presidential flag bearer.
“In subsequent conventions and NWC and NEC meeting, others issues can be discussed and sorted out.
“The convention is to elect our Presidential candidate. It is not an elective convention. Three candidates per local government, apart from the statutory delegates, are expected at the convention.”
It was, however, observed that some states may not be part of the convention as they were yet to conclude their primaries, which must be concluded by Sunday at the latest, which is the last day for the submission of list of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, is however confident that the party will beat the deadline, saying states that have not concluded their primaries are expected to do so not later than Sunday.
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