Barring any last-minute changes, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, a business tycoon, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, and other aspirants are set to pick the presidential forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Trust reports.
So far, six aspirants, including the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; and Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, have picked the party forms after paying N100m each.
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The sixth, a female aspirant, Uju Kennedy, has also picked her forms after paying the sum of N30m as directed by the party.
The party had fixed N30m as the fee for the expression of interest and N70m for the nomination forms. Based on the party’s timetable, the sale of the forms would be closed on Friday, May 6, this year.
Daily Trust reports that the party is set to raise N2bn from the 20 aspirants who have indicated interest to contest for its presidential ticket.
The aspirants are eyeing the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari whose second term will lapse on May 29, next year.
The Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, will formally declare for the race today. The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State is also likely to pick up the forms today.
Other aspirants who are set to pick the forms are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; a former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole; a former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Also in the race are Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Ihechukwu Dallas Chima, Usman Iwu, Ben Ayade, Rotimi Amaechi, Mr Tein Jack-Rich and Adamu Garba II.
An aide of the senate president had on Monday told our correspondent that arrangements had been concluded for Lawan to pick the forms today.
The aide said, “The senate president will on Wednesday pick the forms for the presidency. He has succumbed to pressure by elders in the country.”
Daily Trust further reports that Lawan’s entry into the race has ballooned the calls that the North should retain the presidency on the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.
Meanwhile, Mr Olawepo-Hashim who is set to pick his forms on Thursday at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, has insisted that despite the fact that the country was “gripped in the claws of insecurity, worsening energy crises due to absence of local refining of petroleum products and inadequate electricity generation, transmission and distribution, a new and better Nigeria is still possible.”
The former presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections explained that the: “Current political trajectory of the country is dim and dark, as deep ethnic cleavages and bigotry have dominated the landscape; accentuating the crises, undermining any initiative for a cohesive national redemption.”
He added that, “There is nothing Nigerians cannot achieve with the right environment and support. I am out to give the leadership to create that environment,” while promising that his “plan to build a new Nigeria as encapsulated in a 50-point agenda will be publicly presented soon by the grace of God.”
The Global Oil CEO also maintained that, “A modern Nigeria capable of securing itself from internal and external threats, provide jobs for its teeming youths currently unemployed through a sustainable economic development plan and reduce the scourge of poverty and corruption is possible and realisable.”
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