After weeks of intrigues and uncertainty, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) elected a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu as its presidential candidate.
The 70-year-old politician was able to get northern governors behind himself and handed crushing defeats to other younger and agile aspirants, including the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Some weeks before the national convention, Tinubu, Osinbajo and former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi were neck in neck, even though the odds favoured Tinubu.
Simon Lalong, the governor of Plateau State, Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State were some of the governors that backed Amaechi publicly.
However, three days before the election, the governors had closed ranks and aligned with the former Lagos State governor.
THE PRESS findings revealed that the governors considered the emergence of Amaechi against the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, with the conclusion that it was slim.
The Jigawa State governor, who had openly pledged support for Amaechi subsequently stepped down and asked his supporters to support Tinubu.
An insider said in the aftermath of the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that governors should back him to select a candidate, the governors met several times but it became clear that more governors backed Tinubu.
The insider also said Amaechi’s campaign also slowed down after his resignation as Minister, therefore, creating doubt in the minds of those willing to back him.
“During those meetings, Governor Umar Ganduje, Gboyega Oyetola, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Babagana Zulum were clear on their position as far as their favourite candidate is concerned. Also, the declaration by Abdulahi Adamu on Ahmad Lawan as consensus candidate united the governors to pick the strongest of the candidates,” the source said.
It would be recalled that the National Chairman had announced the Senate president as the choice of the president as the consensus candidate.
That same day, some governors, including Nasir El-Rufai, Umar Ganduje, Babajide Sanwo-Olu came to the National Secretariat and had a meeting with some members of the NWC; however, Adamu shunned the meeting.
Undeterred, the governors went to Adamu’s house in the Villa around 1 a.m., to make it clear they will not accept Lawan.
Another insider told the press that the governors wanted to make it clear to Adamu that they are the owners of the party.
“Since (Adams) Oshiomhole left, the governors have been in control of the party. They know the antecedent of Adamu. What played out at the convention was to make it clear that they are the one to pick the successor of President Buhari.
“On the choice of Asiwaju, they looked at who has the capacity to go head to head with Atiku Abubakar in the general election. The governors have a huge stake in the election. If the APC should lose the presidential election, it will affect their senatorial elections as most of them want to move to the Senate and also elect a successor,” the source said.
“For the governors, it was more of a logical reasoning, nothing more, and Amaechi fell short of the expectation,” the source further explained.
Tinubu, in his acceptance speech, also corroborated this, when he said he did not know what he told the governors, but they gave him their total support.
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