By Mary Agidi
Eminent Nigerians and the International community spoke glowingly yesterday about the democratic process which produced the presidential flag bearers of the country’s major political parties.
In separate reactions, Nigerians across party lines expressed joy over the violent free conduct of the conventions which produced the flagbearers.
Elder State man and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Bode Olajumoke has described the processes that led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Donald Duke as presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress APC, PDP and SDP respectively for 2019 general elections as an evidence of Nigeria’s democratic progress.
The elderstatesman who spoke with The Hope in a telephone interview noted that the unanimous decision of the APC to present Buhari as the sole candidate and the rancor-free primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party that produced Atiku showed that the country is progressing in its journey to entrenching democracy.
“As I talk with you I’m still in Port Harcourt as a member of PDP’s Board of Trustees, we all saw the transparent manner in which the primary was conducted, it was fair and without rancor, as attested to by all the aspirants. There was a display of unity by all the aspirants who plegded to support the candidate.
On the other hand, there was no real contest in APC. It was an unanimous decision to put Buhari up as the only candidate. The two parties have given evidence of progress in our democracy. There wasn’t much hassle in the APC, PDP on the other hand showed that we can afford every one the opportunity to express themselves. I wish the two parties best of luck. ” May the best candidate that will move this nation forward emerge but as a member of PDP I will want to see my candidate emerge the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”, he said.
According to him, despite that the nation is 58 years old from independence, the pace of development has been retarded due to bad leadership.
He emphasised the need for Nigeria to get a President that will move the country forward come 2019, noting that the country has not made an appreciable progress like the neighboring Ghana who just celebrated 20years of uninterrupted power supply.
His words: “After 58years of independent, Nigeria deserves to make progress, it is very sad that Nigeria is still crawling in terms of development all Nigerians yearn for better welfare .
There are critical issues I believe we need to be looked into,and I hope Nigeria will go to the election next year and elect the right leaders.
Wishing the presidential candidates best of luck, Olajumoke appealed to the electorates to vote in candidates that will bring development to the nation in all aspects.
Reacting to the allegation that Atiku gave each delegate the sum of $5000, Olajumoke who is also a delegate at the convention denied witnessing such.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) Election Mission has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) National presidential Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the party’s flag-bearer for the 2019 Presidential Election as a success.
The EU Observer Mission had deployed a four-member team to monitor the special convention held on Saturday at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
A member of the (EU) Election Mission, Esther Uzoma while speaking with journalists shortly after the convention that lasted till Sunday morning said the event was peaceful and orderly.
“So far, my observation has been that there is an enthusiasm among the APC members. It is a celebratory gathering and they all converged eagerly to affirm their presidential candidate. And so far so good, everything is in order,” she said.
14,842,072 members of the APC had affirmed President Buhari as the candidate of the party for the 2019 Presidential election.
The total votes were announced by Ekiti State Governor-Elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
In his acceptance speech, President Buhari thanked alleligible members of the party who stepped down their ambition to allow him to emerge as the APC sole aspirant and now as candidate.
I thank you all for your encouragement and support, and I will not disappont the people of Nigeria,” Buhari said.
APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole said with the conclusion of the primary, the party was now ready for the campaign for the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it put in place strategies to ensure that the party’s presidential primary held in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was transparent.