The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has emerged as the winner of the party’s presidential primary.
He obtained over 1,000 votes to defeat his closest rivals, ex-minister Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
While Amaechi polled 316 votes, Osinbajo scored 235 votes.
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He contested against thirteen other aspirants – Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mr Ahmed Rufai, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Mr Jack Rich, Governor Ben Ayade, Governor David Umahi, Senator Ahmed Yarima, Dr Ahmed Lawan, Osinbajo, Amaechi, Governor Yahaya Bello and Mr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Nine aspirants had earlier stepped down, eight of whom asked their supporters to vote for Tinubu, while one asked his supporters to vote for Osinbajo.
Those who stepped down before voting began are Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Robert Boroffice, Ken Nnamani, Ibikunle Amosun, Dimeji Bankole, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Godswill Akpabio.
They asked their supporters to vote for Tinubu, just as the only female aspirant, Mrs Uju Ken-Ohanenye, followed suit.
Pastor Felix Nicholas, the United States of America-based aspirant also stepped down and asked his supporters to vote for Osinbajo.
A candidate, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, immediate past Minister of State for Education, was conspicuously absent at the convention.
The PUNCH had reported that selected members of the APC had gathered to choose the party’s candidate for next year’s election to replace the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Tinubu will face 75-year-old Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party among others in the February 25 presidential ballot.
Buhari, who is stepping down after the two terms he is allowed in the constitution, had spent days leading up to the convention in negotiations with the APC’s leaders seeking unity over a party candidate.
“The fate of the party depends on what we do here,” APC party chairman Abdullahi Adamu said, echoing Buhari’s call for unity in the ranks.
“We cannot go into the general election next year without putting our house together.”