About 7,000 delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s flag bearer at the party’s national convention held at the Eagles Square, Abuja on Saturday.
The move comes eight days after the APC held its presidential primary in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Unlike in 2014 when the APC used an indirect primary to pick its Presidential candidate, the party had opted for the indirect primary this year, allowing all members of the party to play a part in picking candidates.
At the convention, it was affirmed that President Buhari who was the sole aspirant in the race got 14,842,072 votes during the primary.
Delegates first confirmed that the results from the primary in their respective states before Buhari affirming Buhari’s emergence as the party’s flagbearer.
The governor-elect of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who handled the task of confirming the votes, said because the results from the various states were confirmed at the convention in accordance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, “President Muhammadu Buhari…is hereby confirmed as the winner of the direct presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress”.
He added: “Consequently, his name shall be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the party in the 2019 presidential election.”
In his acceptance speech, Buhari thanked all eligible candidates who decided not to challenge him in the primary
He also thanked members of the party for supporting him and went on to reel out the achievements on his administration in almost four years.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Chairman and members of the Convention Committee for planning and conducting this convention. The same appreciation goes to the chairmen of National and State Executive Committees of our party. Thank you very much for doing a difficult job well.
- I would like to pay tribute to Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande the first chairman of our great Party and to Chief John Oyegun who led the party until this year and all the APC Governors.
- The result of the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress this time is different because I am the only candidate. I thank all other eligible candidates who deferred to me in the interest of our party unity and over-all national stability.
- Fellow party members, it is with a deep sense of humility that I stand before you today to accept the nomination of our party, the All Progressives Congress to be its candidate and flag-bearer in the 2019 presidential elections.
- As I stand today before you, there is no honour greater than the confidence given to me by all of you when you affirmed my nomination. I thank you for your support. I thank you for your guidance. I thank you for staying committed to the CHANGE agenda.
- I accept this honour as a tribute and mark of confidence to carry the responsibility as we all join hands to continue the good work of the APC government to 2023 and beyond.
- We are very proud of our record from 2015 to date: We have arrested and checked the slide to anarchy on the security and economic fronts. Boko Haram is reduced to dastardly attacks on soft targets. Normalcy has returned to much of North East and neighbouring North West states. Our currency has stabilised. Our reserves are now $44 billion, a lot higher than we had in 2015. Power generation capacity has reached 8,000 megawatts against less than 4,600 when we came into office. As we invest in new power generation infrastructure we are strenuously working to address the legacy deficiencies and challenges of transmission and distribution networks across the country. We are executing Independent Power Projects in 9 Federal Universities to deliver uninterrupted power supply and we intend to expand to a total of 37 Universities We have revived most of our capacity to produce fertilisers locally. The Government through its Anchor Borrowers Programme and other incentives has empowered more than 2 million farmers to go back to the land. We now produce 80% of our rice requirements. Many farmers who nearly lost hope are now millionaires. We have introduced primary school feeding programmes to encourage attendance and enrolment. We also have introduced the conditional cash transfer to help small and medium businesses, the men, the women and young people who drive our economy. We have repaired and are repairing major arterial roads and starting major railway projects with the aim of linking the 36 states with efficient road and rail transportation systems. We are attacking corruption head-on. With international support we are recovering Nigerian stolen assets and applying them to infrastructural developments. Today the corrupt are facing the wrath of law and leakages have been generally blocked. Mr. Chairman, Your Excellencies, Members of the APC.
- We can be proud of our achievements. CHANGE has come. Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Nigerians, think how much PDP governments earned between 1999 to 2015. Think what they did with it. Infrastructure down! Security down! 18 local governments of Nigeria under control of a hostile army of insurgents, Reserves depleted! Bankruptcy around the corner.
- What did they do with your money?
- Internationally, Nigeria is now respected. My inter-action with foreign heads of state and government has been very encouraging. The international community is very supportive of our efforts to put our country in order.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Members of APC. I thank you deeply for your support and confidence in me. I will not let you or the people of Nigeria down. On to victory in 2019!
Long live APC! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Thank you and God bless you all.
With Channels TV and NAN reports