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With Gale Of Stepping Down, Tinubu Set To Clinch APC Presidential Ticket, Osinbajo, Lawan, Amaechi In Race

A gale of stepping down by aspirants, the coast was cleared for the emergence of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election.

At the Eagle Square, Abuja venue of the party’s special convention and presidential primary, the national leader of the ruling party inched close to actualising his lifelong ambition, ending the intrigues that heralded the long-awaited event.  

Setting the ball rolling for the stepping down galore was a former Akwa Ibom governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who pulled out of the race for Tinubu at 10:06pm.

It was after Akpabio that a former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Governor Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Senator Robert A. Boroffice and a female aspirant, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, also stepped down for Tinubu.

In all, seven aspirants, who picked the party’s tickets for N100 million each, stepped down for the former Lagos State governor. The event slated to commence at 3.30 pm, started four hours late at 7.30pm.

Forty-year-old aspirant, Felix Nicholas, said to be the youngest in the race, stepped down for Osinbajo. 

It was observed that Osinbajo was booed by delegates from Lagos State and supporters of Tinubu. The incident happened when the vice president walked toward the delegates’ area to greet them upon his arrival at the venue. 

The development forced Osinbajo to change his route to the VIP area, where he was waved at by some senior party officials and other stakeholders. 

The vice president had nearly settled in his seat when Tinubu arrived at the venue with thunderous shouts of ‘Jagaban’ renting the air for more than 10 minutes. 

Senate President Ahmad Lawan came in shortly after Tinubu but his arrival was overshadowed by the rousing ovation, singing and dancing by the supporters of the former Lagos governor. 

Before voting commenced, all the aspirants were given two minutes to address the delegates.

A total of 14 aspirants – Tinubu, Osinbajo, Ahmad Lawan, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Rochas Okorocha, Dave Umahi, Yahaya Bello, Tein Jack-Rich, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Emeka Nwajiu, Ahmed Sani Yarima, Prof Ben Ayade and Ikeobasi Mokelu – were in the race.

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