APC Convention: Campaigns for positions, consensus candidate delay kick-off

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

As of 6:15 pm, Saturday, March 26, the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was yet to kickstart.

The Convention Planning Committee had slated the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Convention ground for 3:15 pm and the take-off time for the programme to 3:30 pm with the National Anthem.

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At the convention ground, Eagle Square, Abuja, there were fears that the party might not have been able to fully realise its consensus targets as some of its aspirants were seen rigorously lobbying and campaigning.

President Buhari had lobbied leaders and members of the party to strive to achieve consensus for all positions in the party ahead of the Convention.

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He held meetings with various critical stakeholder groups within the party, including the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), founding fathers of the party, chairmanship aspirants, among others, in the days leading to the all-important National Convention.

However, at the Convention ground on Saturday, some supporters of aspirants, in their large numbers, went round, soliciting votes for their aspirants.

One of such cases was the crowd that followed an aspirant to the National Legal Adviser’s, Barr Ahmed Usman, bearing a large banner that called on delegates to vote the aspirant when the time comes.

Another development reinforcing the fear that the party might not have been able to achieve complete consensus was the fact that President Buhari, who is known to be a strict respecter of time schedules was yet to arrive at the venue as at 6:15 pm, suggesting the possibility of his being engaged in yet another round of efforts at achieving consensus.