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Tinubu, Okorocha, APC Disagree on Automatic Ticket for Buhari in 2019


Two leading All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have come up with divergent views on the suitability of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s flag bearer in 2019 presidential election.
Okorocha declared while addressing leaders of the Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 2019, who were on a courtesy visit to him at the Government House, Owerri on Tuesday, that there was no alternative to Buhari for the presidential race, contrary to Tinubu’s assertion on Wednesday that there was no automatic ticket for the President come 2019.
Recall APC Governors had earlier adopted Buhari as the sole candidate of the party in the election.
Okorocha said: “President Buhari is the best for the country at the moment and that there could not have been a better option now.
“I am a believer of Buhari and I made it clear years ago that if President Buhari is running for President, I will not run.
“Now God has chosen him to be the President of Nigeria and some of us are witnesses that Buhari was and is still the best for Nigeria at this material time,” he said.
He continued: “Supporting Buhari for a second tenure will bring about the new Nigeria we are talking about. This will put Nigeria first and the unity we are looking for will be guaranteed under this administration.
“Our nation is going through a challenging moment and we will require a man of his calibre to see us through this period.
The National Leader of the party, Tinubu, on Wednesday declared that the party would follow the normal democratic process in choosing its flagbearer in the 2019 Presidential Election.
He said the leadership of the party had not endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.
His statement, obviously is against the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu as the sole candidate of the APC for the 2019 election by the APC governors.
Tinubu held a closed meeting with the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, the Afenifere, at the residence of the leader of the organisation, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Tinubu, who was at the meeting with the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi and the Acting Chairman of the APC in the state, Ade Ademehin, said Buhari was a man who believed in normal democratic process and the rule of law.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, he said, “No Governors can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves. Buhari is a believer in the process. The Buhari, I know, believes in the rule of law. We wanted him even before the last convention and primary of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me, he was not the Governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.
He added: “We followed all the constitutional provision and an individual or group’s opinion does not really matter at this stage, Buhari will want a normal process. Buhari that, I know, who says he will lose at any convention? But if the national body, the NEC (National Executive Committee) and all of us as members endorsed him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, we will not be violating our party constitution.
“What you are hearing is just a campaign by other people who might like to do so. Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not infringed on anybody’s ambition if there is. We can not be sycophantic about it.”


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