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Author Name: Suleiman Nasiru
Number of articles: 76
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How El-Rufai emerged as the APC gubernatorial candidate in Kaduna
Author: Suleiman Nasiru | December 14, 2014

Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Malam Nasir El-rufai has emerged the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC in Kaduna State. El-rufai emerged by winning the party's primary which lasted into the early hours of Friday with a total votes of 1965 to beat his closest rival Alhaji Isa Ashiru Kudan who pulled a total of 1379 votes, while the gubernatorial candidate of the defunct CPC in the 2011 general Election in the state, Alhaji Haruna Saeed recorded 127 votes, Shamsudeen Ango Abdullahi garnered 25 votes and Salihu Lukman won 22 votes while 28 votes were declared invalid.  A total of 3557 delegates were accredited to vote out of which 3546 voted. This figure was arrived at based on the result of the total votes won by various aspirants with the number of invalid votes, which was put at 28. This revealed that a total of 11 votes were unaccounted for. Though the election as observed by this reporter was conducted in an orderly manner and can be said to be free and fair. The International Trade Fair Complex, Kaduna venue of the primaries was tightly secured as men of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Civil Defence and other security outfit were on top of the situation and put up a perfect arrangement that ensure the conduct of the party primaries was a success. For instance delegates were not allowed in unless for voting exercise, after which they have to go outside the venue of the election, access to the venue of the voting exercise was restricted to accommodate only agents of aspirants, security personnel, the press and  officials of the party conducting the election yet supporters of various aspirants conducted themselves well. Though a mammoth crowd were witnessed at the venue, but were restricted to outside the trade fair complex. As earlier stated that the election was free and fair, but there were unverified allegations that money exchanged hands at the venue of the primaries. According to an eyewitness who claimed to have seen people collecting money, though he said he cannot identified which aspirants was giving the money, but he said money were actually given to delegates to influence their choice. The eyewitness said that “things were going on smoothly here inside, but outside there was like a bureau de change as dollars and other foreign currency were changing hands outside there,” he revealed.   According to a party supporter, one malamNafiuAbdullahi who said whatever happened at the primaries cannot take away the glory of the successful conduct of the party's primary, which went on peacefully against the wishes of the party detractors, who had predicted doom for the party.  He further explained that whatever happened now is immaterial, what is important now is that a candidate has emerged and the governorship race has just begun and other APC aspirants should put everything behind them and focus on how to wrestle power from the PDP, which should be the ultimate goal for all APC members and supporters in Kaduna state now.  On his part, Malam Bashi Bala an APC member in Gabasawa ward who said the emergence of malamNasir El-Rufai as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Kaduna State has being predicted long ago, according to him, the day General Muhammadu Buhari raised the hands of El-Rufai at the official declaration of Malam Nasir El-rufai has revealed who APC's gubernatorial candidate. Political analysts have concluded that the APC gubernatorial primaries would be a two-horse race, which later proved to be so they had earlier concluded that it was going to be between MalamNasir El-Rufai and Alhaji Isa Ashiru Kudan. Most commentators have predicted that Isa Ashiru would win the primaries, their argument was based on the strength of his campaign organization, which they alleged spent heavily to woo delegates to vote for their principal. But others were of the opinion that El-rufai has gotten the blessing of General Muhammadu Buhari and would definitely ride of his wings to glory, which eventually happened. El-Rufai rode on Buhari's back to victory as alleged by many analysts, to them it was obvious El-rufai would emerged APC gubernatorial candidate, because he was Buhari's choice. In his acceptance speech, Malam Nasir El-Rufai saluted the courage of other aspirants who aspired for the party gubernatorial ticket along side with him. He said it is now time for them to pull all their energies and talents together to elect an APC government in Kaduna State saying "this is a mission to fulfil the aspirations of the people, and a mighty task that duty demands we successfully achieve. According to him, "I pay heartfelt tribute to the distinguished party men who also aspired for and campaigned to be chosen as the APC governorship candidate. Your energetic campaigns have helped to build and strengthen our party; and the party, its members and supporters would continue to expect your leadership and worthy contributions. "I hereby invite the distinguished persons with whom we competed for the nomination to continue to discharge our responsibilities together, under the leadership of the party at the state level, to design and launch a statewide campaign as soon as possible.   "With your support, I pledge to run a campaign that engages and mobilises all the people of Kaduna State for the necessary work of change, to throw out a spendthrift, ineffectual PDP gang and elect a government committed to participatory governance and sustainable empowerment of the people. The APC Kaduna Team is ready to provide a government guided by fairness, passion and commitment. I am proud to be a member of this team, and I will discharge my leadership role within it with the vision, integrity and results-orientation that have been the hallmark of my public service," Malam Nasir El-Rufai said. Meanwhile, the Salihu Mohammed Lukman Campaign Organization on behalf of the aspirant said they have accepted the outcome of the primaries and willing to contribute it own quota towards the victory of the party in the state. The Campaign Organization in a press statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna, however called on it loyalists and party members to continue to support all those who have emerged as candidates of the party for various elective positions to see to the victory of the party come 2015 general elections. "I wish to call on the party members to continue to support all those who have emerged as candidates of the party for various elective positions, so that the ruling PDP government will be shown the way out and give room for the APC to provide the needed good governance that the people of Kaduna State desires and yearn for. "Let me therefore use this singular opportunity to congratulate Mallam Nasir El-Rufai on his victory and assures of my support to work for the success of the party in the task ahead to unseat the PDP in the state. As aspirants, we may have our different ideologies prior to the primaries but now that Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has emerged as a candidate, it is my candid opinion that we try to harmonize ourselves around a minimum program for that state that can unite all of us to work for the success of the party in the 2015 general elections. Once again, I congratulate the winner and wish better days ahead for the APC family," the statement read.

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