Tinubu’s intervention paves way for Oshiomhole

Indications emerged last night that former Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole, is as good as emerging the next National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at tomorrow’s national elective convention.
The coast became clearer yesterday, when the last of his three contenders and ex-Cross River state Governor, Clement Ebri, last night pulled out from the race.
Two other contenders, Oshiomhole’s predecessor, Professor Osariemen Osunbor and Chief Ibrahim Emorkpere, had earlier withdrawn from the contest, declaring their support for the former labour leader.
Specifically, Osunbor said he was withdrawing out of the respect he had for President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, our correspondent reliably gathered that it took the prompt and personal intervention of the APC National Leader and former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who prevailed on Ebri and other contestants to drop their ambition to avoid “needless acrimony” at the convention.
A top party member and strong supporter of Oshiomhole, confided in our correspondent that “Tinubu’s intervention yesterday finally cleared the coast for my principal Oshiomhole, and he will enjoy a free ride at Saturday’s national convention.”
Announcing his withdrawal in a statement yesterday, Ebri said he took the decision in “the overall interest of the party and my belief that all stakeholders must row in the same rancour- free direction as we approach general elections in a few months.
“I believe that those who occupy formal positions in the APC are the helmsmen of the Nigerian ship of state. What happens in the leadership of this country’s ruling party, the APC, is directly responsible for whether we can deliver on our promises to our people to provide them with a new lease of life. This was the core conviction that drove me to declaring my candidacy for this office in the first place, “I believe too that a fundamental task of the APC is to win elections.
After this is achieved, it behoves the party to offer its elected officials a means for organizing government as it then becomes the primary link between the people and government. I considered myself well suited for this and other enormous responsibilities and, on that basis proceeded with my campaign.”
While calling his supporters to throw their weights behind the former labour leader as the incoming number one, Ebri said, “we should all render him every support and encouragement he needs as he and his team proceed to rebuild our party into a formidable unified and inclusive organisation where every voice counts.
“I enjoin them, as faithful party loyalists, to transfer the support they had hitherto reserved for my candidacy to our aspirations for peace in the party and endorse Mr. Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.”

‘7,000 delegates expected’
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Convention Committee, Governor Muhammad Badaru, said about 7,000 delegates are expected at the Eagle Square, venue of the exercise to pick their party leaders out of the over 150 contenders vying for 42 offices.
He made the disclosure when he led members of the committee on Good Morning Nigeria, an NTA breakfast show yesterday.
He assured that as the ruling party, the committee would ensure a befitting and rancour-free convention.

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