• Emokpaire withdraws from race
As the national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) draws nearer, the 24 governors have reiterated their support for Adams Oshiomole for the party’s national chairmanship position.
Yesterday, many of the governors on the platform of the party turned the Abuja campaign office of Oshiomhole to a mecca of some sort in a bid to reassure the former Edo State governor that they stand by their earlier position to support him. Among the governors were Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).
Bagudu, who fielded questions from reporters, faulted the notion in some quarters that his colleagues had reneged on their support for Oshiomhole.“He has experience in various aspects of national life. We are all confident that he will establish party structure that is necessary for the continuous evolution and maintenance of democracy. The party will benefit from his experience in the recent past as governor of Edo State. He is one of the most successful leaders of trade unions, and a democrat.
“These qualities will be brought to bear in achieving the ideals of the APC. So we believe he will be a leader, he will be the embodiment of the spirit of the party and the experience will help,” he said.
The National Leader of the party and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, and former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, for the first time, openly threw their weight behind Oshiomole.
Tinubu said his visit was also in line with on-going effort to reconcile aggrieved members of the party. “My presence here symbolizes solidarity and unity of purpose to continue to build a progressive party that will make Nigeria progress and encourage good governance with courage and commitment.
“There is no doubt that I have endorsed his candidacy (Oshiomohle). I have worked with him, why should I have any doubt? This thing is a game and there is the fact that you either win or lose. Have you seen a democrat who is ready to lose? Just accept the fact that it is about winning.”Tinubu spoke against the backdrop of the decision by one of the chairmanship aspirants, Chief Ibrahim Emokpaire, to withdraw from the race.Emokpaire explained that he took the decision because he was convinced that Oshiomole had the wherewithal to oversee the affairs of the APC effectively.