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Political parties rush to beat INEC convention deadline

By Mike Odiakose

Several political parties on Wednesday rushed to conclude their national conventions to pick their candidates for the 2023 presidential election.

The parties had up to Thursday to conduct their national convention else they will not be on the ballot during the presidential election.

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC successfully concluded their two-day national convention in Abuja where former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu defeated 12 other aspirants to pick the party’s ticket.

Tinubu polled 1271 votes to beat the distant runner-up, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who polled 316 votes.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo came third with 235 votes, while the Senate President Ahmed Lawan got 115 votes.

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state got 38 votes; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State got 37 votes while former Governor Sani Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara state polled four votes.

Former Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu got a single vote while Pastor Tunde Bakare, Rochas Okorocha and Ikeobasi Mokelu left the Eagle Square venue of the APC national convention with zero votes.

Also on Wednesday Social Democratic Party, SDP, conducted its national convention at the International Conference Centre, Abuja where Adewole Adebayo emerged as the presidential candidate of the party.

He three other aspirants stepped down to enable him emerge the flag bearer of the party.

The New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP also conducted its national convention in Abuja where 774 party delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja converged at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola Stadium, for its Special National Convention (Presidential Primary) to elect the party’s presidential candidate.

Former Governor of Kano State and National Leader of the party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso emerged as the flag bearer after three other aspirants stepped down for him.

Last weekend Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, again emerged as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Abubakar defeated 12 other candidates in a keenly contested presidential primary held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday.

Of the 767 accredited ballots at the election, he polled 371 votes while his closest challenger, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, came second with 237 votes.

On June 6 Kola Abiola emerged the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Redemption Party (PRP).

He won against Usman Bugaje, Patience Key and Gboluga Mosugu to pick the PRP ticket.

Mr Abiola is the first child of late M.KO Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, annulled presidential election.

While Kola Abiola got 2,097 votes from across the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Bugaje came second with 813 votes while Ms Key and Mr Mosugu got 329 and 263 votes to emerge third and fourth, respectively.

A total of 3,625 delegates were accredited with 3,519 valid votes and 141 invalid votes

The collation was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking before the collation of the results, PRP National Chairman, Falalu Bello, said the delegates from the 36 states and the FCT voted for the aspirants from their respective states.

This, he said, was with the permission from INEC to save cost.

Last week Peter Obi, former Anambra State Governor emerged as the presidential flag bearer of the Labour party.

He emerged after a keen contest with Olushola Emmanuel-Tella who was the only aspirant that refused to step down

Three other aspirants including Prof Pat Utomi withdrew for Peter Obi.

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