THISDAY HEADLINE: Adams Oshiomhole is APC New National Chairman

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Former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was yesterday in Abuja elected national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the second elective national convention of the party. Oshiomhole’s election came through affirmation following the withdrawal of other chairmanship aspirants a few days before the convention.

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In his address at the opening of the convention, which took place amid internal dissensions, President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to aggrieved members to be patient, saying the party will soon resolve the disagreements. Buhari assured that the party will emerge from its present challenges stronger and more vibrant.

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Outgoing National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, gave an emotional farewell speech in which he admitted that his tenure was turbulent. But Odigie-Oyegun said the party had become stronger on his watch.

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That was as three people were wounded in a fight among delegates from Delta State, and lists bearing names purporting to be consensus candidates, called Unity list, were bandied about at the venue of the convention.

In Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday, the leader of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) bloc within APC, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, said his group will continue with its agitation for better treatment even after the party’s national convention. Baraje stated this in a statement by his media office.

However, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dismissed the ruling party’s convention as a farce, alleging that open intimidation and physical assault on aspirants and delegates confirm Buhari’s desperation to grab the APC presidential ticket by all means. PDP made the allegations in a statement by its nnational publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.

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The chairman of the APC national convention committee and Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, who moderated the election process, asked the delegates to affirm Oshiomhole’s election through a voice vote and they did.

Oshiomhole’s affirmation came shortly after Buhari delivered his speech in which he pleaded with delegates to support the party’s consensus arrangement.

The president said, “I want to assure everyone here that despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. The unresolved cases we have are the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.

“The adoption of consensus as a first option is commendable and the process has led to a lot of healing and cohesion across the states and the zones, and where elections are inevitable, I have been assured that the process adopted will result in clear and undisputed results. Again I am appealing to all contestants to keep faith with the party.

 

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