Facts have emerged on how retired General Muhammadu Buhari smoothly clinched the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket for the 2015 general election with 3,430 votes, beating notable politician and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, who came in a distant third by scoring only 954 votes from the over 6,000 votes cast by delegates.
Other aspirants who lost to Buhari at the third national convention of the party include the founder of LEADERSHIP Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, who got 10 votes; Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, who came second with 974 votes and his Anambra State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, who scored 624 votes.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that ahead of the commencement of the APC primary on Wednesday, national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had met with all the APC governors save for Okorocha and Kwankwaso, at the Lagos House where a deal was sealed in favour of Buhari.
Consequently, Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, directed their state delegates to vote for Buhari en masse.
A source, who was privy to the Lagos House parley, which was at Tinubu’s instance, has provided an insight into what transpired at the pre-convention meeting, revealing that the governors only endorsed Buhari after being convinced that Atiku would allegedly be uncontrollable for them if he emerges president, given his financial wherewithal, hence the need to vote for a financially-weak aspirant, in the person of Buhari.
“They believe that his wealth has made him too independent. This suits the Asiwaju perfectly,” the source simply added.
It was apparent that Tinubu dictated the pace of things at the primary election on Wednesday as an earlier attempt by him to draft the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, into the presidential race caused ripples in both the APC and Buhari’s camp in particular, before Tambuwal later opted for his native Sokoto State governorship contest.