The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has 'successfully' held its much talked about National Convention to elect members into various national positions.
5 major highlights from the APC National Convention
The just concluded APC National Convention produced some moments of melodrama.
The event held at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Saturday, March 26, 2022 has been the dominant topic in both the social and conventional media spaces in the past couple of days.
There were initial doubts on whether the event would even hold at all following two failed attempts by the Caretaker Extra-ordinary Convent Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Yobe state Governor Mai Mala Buni.
The internal wranglings in the party became apparent after the last postponement and many people had predicted that the party was heading for a doom.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari's intervention helped to douse the tensions as his consultations with the governors and other critical stakeholders yielded a positive result.
Meanwhile, the APC went into the Saturday convention having agreed on consensus for all the positions, and everybody - or at least - the major stakeholders seemed to have aligned on that.
Buhari's choice for chairmanship, Senator Abdullahi Adamu was affirmed via a yay-or-nay votes by the delegates after confirmation that the other six aspirants had submitted signed withdrawal letters to confirm their exit from the race.
Some other positions were also announced in this manner as more aspirants pulled out of the contest.
However, things took a dramatic turn when some adamant aspirants refused to tow the 'party line' and were instead ready to subject their popularity to votes amongst the delegates.
In a bid to prevent this, the party leaders continued to persuade the aggrieved aspirants and more drama ensued when they were invited to the stage to express their discontent.
What unfolded after made up some of the biggest highlights from the event.
The night ended in tears for Dada Olusegun
One of the positions open to contest was the National Youth Leadership as a contestant, Dada Olusegun and one other aspirant had refused to back out of the race for the party's preferred choice, Dayo Israel.
In the end, Olusegun after several persuasions, loosen his hold and conceded to the whims of the party.
But, he won't go out without leaving us with some epic and memorable moments.
While delivering his concession message, an emotional Olusegun burst into tears as his voice cracked all through the short speech. Must be tough.
Mary Ekpe's refusal message
A contestant for the National Woman Leadership position created a little drama as she stepped on stage to make a speech.
First, there were some shoving and mild rancour as some people tried to prevent her from speaking with the argument that the microphone is only meant for aspirants who want to give concession speech.
However, courtesy of the intervention of the Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, Mary was handed the microphone to express herself, and the visibly angry aspirant vehemently announced her refusal to withdraw from the race.
The suffering honourable who refused to give up
Another aspirant who also came onto the stage to announce his refusal to withdraw from the contest was one Honourable Nduka.
Nduka was contesting for the National Welfare Secretary of the party and felt he deserved the post more than the endorsed choice who he claimed joined the APC about four months ago.
The feeling of dejection in his voice was quite palpable as he stated his case on the stage, Nduka recalled how he has suffered and travelled everywhere to support the party only to be tossed aside for a 'total stranger'.
Adebayo Shitu's subtle dig at Tinubu
A former Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shitu used the occasion of the convention to win himself some political redemption.
Shitu, who had initially refused to drop out of the race for the anointed candidate, Iyiola Omisore, said he felt disrespected partly by the whole consensus arrangement and generally the manner he has been treated by the party.
When accompanied to the stage by the former Governor of Ogun state, Aremo Segun Osoba, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and some other party bigwigs, Shitu announced his concession but had enough time to throw a little shade at Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Osoba had, on behalf of the whole Yoruba Nation, earlier apologised to Shitu on stage for how he has been treated in the party. So the former Minister thanked the elder statesman for his courage, adding that he (Osoba) is the first 'Asiwaju' that he knows.
This is believed to be a reference to Tinubu who is not in good political terms with Shitu.
The Tinubu-Osinbajo Handshake
Who would have thought that a regular handshake between the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Tinubu would have made the highlight reels. Wonders, just wonders!
Recently, the rumours of a crack in the relationship between the two men have gained much traction. It is said that Osinbajo wants to go a notch higher the political ladder, a move which constitutes an existential threat to Tinubu's lifetime ambition to become Nigeria's president.
Some overzealous supporters from the two camps have continued to engage each other in hostile arguments on social media with Osinbajo being labelled a traitor.
Therefore, the handshake at the convention ground couldn't have gone unnoticed. Although this may not be enough to broker a truce among their supporters, but it's a positive signal that shouldn't be dismissed.
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