About 7000 delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to converge on Eagle Square, Abuja on Saturday to affirm President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the party in the February 2019 election.
Mr Buhari had earlier been elected by the members of the party via direct primaries held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on September 28.
Although there were other aspirants, the president was the only one that purchased and returned the expression of interest and nomination forms.
If affirmed today, it will be Mr Buhari fifth attempt at the presidency having failed in 2003, 2007 and 2011 before finally clinching the position in the 2015 elections.
PREMIUM TIMES” team of reporters will be at the Eagle Square for the coverage of the event…
9:58pm Vice President Yemi Osibanjo arrives Eagles Square.
Chairman of the convention planning committee, Governor Abiola Ajimobi urges all the delegates to affirm president Muhammad Buhari.
“We have a tested general who is complemented by his vice Yemi Osibanjo and supported by political veterans.
“This convention opens yet a new chapter in our political space. This party today will again pick a time tested general in the Person Of Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate.
“He is the antidote of all political locust, the machine gun for all the political mercenaries He is the best president for the people.
“I call on all of us to reaffirm the greatness of Nigeria by endorsing president Muhammad Buhari as a man to lead us simply because his records represent a man that can lead us.
“Let us not succumb to the wicked propaganda of our opponents; let us be steady and keep our eyes on the goal
Let’s join hands with president Muhammad Buhari and roll up our sleeves.
10:08pm President Muhammad Buhari arrives Eagles Square.
The national anthem was taken immediately he entered the pavilion reserved for him and other prominent members of the party..
10:35pm. APC national chairman Adams Oshiomhole about to give his speech
Excerpt from the speech of APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole:
“Sir (president) we are most privilege I will give thanks to almighty God for making today possible. For us to be able to hold this convention.
“It is one very important agenda to determine the next presidential candidate of our party. Looking around I believe my very dear friend and brother, the governor of Oyo state Abiola Ajimobi and members of the organizing committee, I believe they have done a very excellent job, putting this under 7 calendar days.
On behalf of the NWC and the entire leadership and membership of the party, I will like to put on record our appreciation to the Committee for a job well done.
The purpose of today is to formally affirm the presidential candidate of our great party. But even before now we have decide with your encouragement that we will conduct direct Primaries for the presidential candidate. We are very appreciative of the support you gave.
“You are the first president to be elected through direct primaries.
“When I saw while you were away how party members turn out to support you, that meant everything. It means that we have moved from the era of deceit.
“Today we have a high number of APC members who came out to vote to nominate its presidential candidate.
Mr President this has been made possible because in under three months in office, the NWC decided to revive our membership register and has been used to conduct election across the country, that is why we can vouch for the election that has been conducted.
In line with NEC directive, we have conducted, and as we speak some states are conducting their primaries.
As at the time I left office we had results of 29 out of 36 states
I want to appreciate the governors and leaders of our party who have done all to ensure security in their various states.
These primaries have been highly peaceful even though we had cases but those situation are under control.
We thought we could use this convention to discuss policy but we are unable because of the fact that tomorrow is the last day of conducting primaries.
I have had conversations with the organising committee and we agreed in the next two three weeks we will have a manifesto dialogue.
It is my hope that we will have the full support of the president and our governors on this policy dialogue.
The Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, who is serving as the secretary of the national convention, Hadiza Bala Usman has announced the affirmation process which is about to start
The announcement of votes scored by the president in the different states is about to begin
Ekiti state Governor elect, Kayode Fayemi has been called on to guide the affirmation process
Delegates attending the APC National Convention has just affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the party in the 2019 election.
The affirmation was done through a voice vote by the delegates under the guidance of Ekiti state Governor elect, Kayode Fayemi.
The affirmation was dine after the results of direct primary election from all the 36 states and the FCT were announced.
President Buhari has scored 14, 842,072 votes from the 36 states and FCT.
Vote of Thanks given by Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, the vice chairman convention planning committee.
“APC had its candidate 180 days ago, we already knew our candidate since April 2018 and we started visiting our delegates at the state level .
“ The PDP is still trying to get a candidate and we have left them behind 180 days ago.
I predict that APC will win the 2019 election in a landslide.
So that the PDP will stage lots of protests and press conferences.
The APC started this presidential journey 6 month ago leaving the PDP behind and 6 month after today, we will gather here in peace.
Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan in a goodwill message pledge that members of the National Assembly will work with him to ensure success.
Although we had cases of defection this year but we are the most united APC caucus of the Senate.
We remain committed to you, the programmes of this administration, We remain loyal to our party.
Mr president , let me thank you also for supporting senators who have remained loyal to the party.
We believe that between this night and tomorrow, there will be issues that will be resolved in favour of some of our colleagues.
I want to add here that the number of senators remains the largest of the senate. We remain the majority.
Democracy as defined by Plato is the government of the majority while the minority will only have their say.
President Muhammadu Buhari is now giving his acceptance speech.
He began by thanking two national leaders of the party, Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande.
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the chairman and members of the convention committee. The same appreciation goes to the chairmen of our states.
“The primaries this time is different because I am the only candidate. I thank other eligible candidate who deferred to me in the interest of our party. Fellow party members it is with a dues sense of humility that I accept to be the candidate and flag bearer for the 2019 election. I stand before you to say there is no honour greater thanto stand before you
“I accept this honour as a tribute and mark of confidence to carry the responsibility and continue the good work of the APC to 2023 and beyond.
We can be proud of our achievements, change has come.
Think of what the PDP did when they governed us.
Internationally Nigeria is now respected. The international community is very supportive of our efforts to put the country together.
I will not let you or the people of Nigeria down unto victory in 2019- Buhari
The National Anthem was rendered at about 1:20am signaling an end to the 4th APC National Convention.