President Muhammadu Buhari has led the growing list of major political stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress who have endorsed and declared support for the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole and Mai Mala Buni as the Chairman and National Secretary of the party respectively in the forthcoming National Convention.
Buhari urged members of the party to support the candidacy of the former Edo State governor owing to his wealth of knowledge and political experience, especially in the APC, as one of its founding members who contributed selflessly to the merger process.
In the same vein, the President commended the dedication of the party’s scribe, Mai Mala Buni, and urged members to allow for continuity by ensuring his return as the National Secretary of the party at the convention.
Following the cue of the President, APC Governors and stakeholders from all regions of the country have also declared their support for both aspirants.
Speaking on some of the traits which endeared them to the former labour leader, Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, said: “He (Adams Oshiomhole) has been experienced in various aspects of national life. His collective experience in the recent past as governor of Edo State, one of the most successful leaders of trade union and a democratic activist all his life.
“These qualities will be brought to bear in achieving the ideals of the APC. So, we believe he will be a leader, he will be the embodiment of the spirit of the party and the experience will help him to make the party grow.”
On his part, the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, described Oshiomhole as “one of us” and assured him of the support of Ogun State.
So far, the list of party bigwigs who have endorsed the candidacy of Oshiomhole and Buni include Governors Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, Kashim Shettima, Ibrahim Geidam and Umar Jibrilla Bindow, Alhaji Suleiman Hassan, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan and Senator Danjuma Goje from the North East, where Buni hails from.
Governors Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Badaru Abubakar, Aminu Bello Masari, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, all from the North West zone, have also reportedly given their backing.
Reports also indicate that all APC governors from the North Central, namely Yahaya Bello, Umar Tanko AlMakura, Samuel Ortom, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Abubakar Sani Bello and Simon Lalong have endorsed both aspirants.
Stakeholders from the South such as Governors Akinwunmi Ambode, Abiola Ajimobi, Ibikunle Amosun, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Rauf Aregbesola, and Godwin Obaseki, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Chief Timipre Sylva, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and Usani Uguru Usani are also reported to have given a nod to their quest to be elected at the upcoming convention.
The duo of Oshiomhole and Buni have also received overwhelming support from the South East region with stakeholders like Governor Rochas Okorocha, Senator Ken Nnamani, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Ben Uwajumogu, ex-Governor Sullivan Chime, Chief Martins Elechi, Dr. Chris Ngige, Hon. Agunwa Anaekwe and Chief Jim Nwobodo, among others, indicating their support.
This widespread support across the six regions of the country has marked Oshiomhole and Mai Mala Buni out as favourites for the position of Chairman and National Secretary respectively, and has created a situation which the Governor of Kano State, Umar Ganduje, described as “numerically winning the election before the election”.