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New presidential candidates emerge as Kwankwaso, Sowore, Al-Mustapha, others pick tickets

By Cross Udo and Nathaniel Zaccheaus
Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late military ruler, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza al-Mustapha (retd.), was alongside the former governor of Kano State and defense minister, Rabiu Kwankwanso, yesterday elected the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) and New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), among others, for the 2023 general elections.

Al-Mustapha contested the presidential primary with another aspirant Samson Odupitan.

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This followed the withdrawal of two other aspirants, Messrs Felix Osakwe and Tunde Kelani, who pledged their support for Al-Mustapha.

The retired major polled 506 votes to defeat Odupitan, his opponent who got 215.

Chairman of AA, Kenneth Udeza, while addressing the delegates, said 842 delegates were accredited to elect the four flag bearers using option A4.

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But Odupitan insisted that he was contesting the presidential primary to take care of the interest of the masses of the country.

He pledged to address the social, economic and political crises currently bedeviling the country if elected President.
Similarly, Al-Mustapha told the delegates that his experience as a military officer for 35 years and while working with Abacha would enable him to tackle the nation’s embarrassing security challenges.

Al-Mustapha said, “I’m a humble person and I have what it takes to contain the insecurity ravaging the country.

“I am a Nigerian who believes in the unity of the country. I remain patriotic despite the humiliation I had suffered in my 35 years of service.

“The unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, and the Action Alliance has the structures to unite the country, being the party for the masses, with members across the country.”

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Odupitan, after the poll , congratulated Al-Mustapha for the victory and pledged to work with him.

The retired major expressed delight with the show of love he received from his party executive, members and the delegates.
He promised not to disappoint the trust they reposed in him if he eventually win the presidential election next year.

Also, Kwankwaso, yesterday emerged the presidential candidate of the NNPP.

He clinched the party’s presidential ticket at the primary election, held in Abuja.

The former senator, the sole presidential aspirant of the party, emerged as the NNPP’s flag bearer after delegates had made their choice known through voice vote.

NNPP’s pioneer national chairman and founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, had disclosed at a news conference on Friday June 3, that the party’s special national convention was just to confirm Kwankwaso, as the presidential candidate of the NNPP.

“He (Kwankwaso) is to be returned unopposed. Kwankwaso is a man of God,” he had said.

The publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has again emerged as the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) for the 2023 general election.

The party’s delegates elected the publisher as its flag bearer at its national convention on Thursday in Abuja.

Before his emergence at the convention, Sowore, announced his decision to step down as the AAC chairman, a position he recently earned through a court judgement.

An appeal court in Abuja, last Thursday, upheld him as the substantive chairman of the party after several months of legal tussles with the Leonard Ezenwa-led faction of the party.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier approved the suspension and eventual sack of Mr Sowore as the AAC’s national chairman.

In the African Democratic Congress (ADC), founder of Roots Television, Nigeria, Dumebi Kachikwu, yesterday clinched the presidential ticket for the 2023 general elections.

Kachikwu secured 978 votes to beat his closest rivals, Kingsley Moghalu and Chukwuka Monye, who polled 589 and 339 votes, respectively.

Retired Major-General Ekundayo Opaleye, chairman of the party’s National Convention Committee, announced the result.

The convention was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

A total of 10 aspirants participated in the primary, including five females, and a person with special needs, Dr Chike Okogwu, who stepped down after addressing the delegates.

About 2,040 delegates from across the country were accredited by the convention committee to elect the party’s presidential candidate.

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Kachikwu, in his acceptance speech, commended the party for organising quality primary elections devoid of monetisation.

He appreciated party members for electing him as a presidential candidate, and assured them that he would continue to project the good image of the ADC, as well as woo voters ahead of the elections.

ADC national chairman, Ralph Nwosu, lamented that the two main political parties in the country had failed to provide good leadership for Nigerians over the years.

The National Chairman of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, has also been elected as its presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

Dantalle, who was the sole presidential candidate of the party, was overwhelmingly elected by delegates in the presidential primary held at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.

A statement by national secretary of the party, Oyedeyi Adebayo, said the special convention expelled six of its suspended national working committee members and three state chairmen for alleged gross anti-party activities which brought the party to ridicule and disrepute.

According to Ayodele, those affected are former national treasurer, Rose D.S. Gyar, former National Financial Secretary, Nasir Baba, Abubakar Ahmed, National Welfare Officer, South-West, Rowland Inyama, National Youth Leader, Felix Idowu, National Publicity Officer, Nasir Sidi Aliyu, Nasarawa State Chairman, Abram Gyabo, former FCT Chairman

Thomas Akosu, and former Kaduna State chairman, Nuhu Soba.

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