Abuja, the nation’s capital city was literally on standstill, yesterday, as the ruling, All Progressives Congress, APC, held its much-postponed National Convention.
All hotels were fully booked as of Friday morning when no fewer than 12,000 delegates stormed Abuja from all over the country for the ceremony
As early as 7 am the Eagle Square venue of the exercise had become a center of activities. It was a carnival of sorts. All the artery roads leading to Eagle Square were cordoned off. To access the venue, people walked a distance of two kilometres. Along the access roads, leaders of the APC especially those with political ambitions tried to outdo one another in poster/banner war. Their supporters with posters sang and danced in procession along the roads and inside Eagle Square.
Supporters of Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in many groups went around canvassing for Emefiele’s emergence as president.
Supporters of Senator Rochas Okorocha, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Tein Jack-Rich, among others mounted banners and their supporters moved the round venue singing.
The 36 states of the country had their pavilions. However, those of states with presidential aspirants and serving APC governors were filled to the brim with delegates dressed in colourful attires.
Although the event was billed to start at 10 am, it never did until 8.23 pm when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived. Vice President Osinbajo arrived at 8 pm.
It was gathered that the delay was occasioned by the inability of party leaders to conclude the issue of unity list.
While the other six chairmanship aspirants agreed to step down for Senator Abdullahi Adamu as consensus national chairman, it was not so for the post of National Secretary where Senator Iyiola Omisore was fiercely being challenged by Ifeoluwa Oyedele. A similar scenario was obtained in the case of Deputy National Chairman, South with former Senate President Ken Nnamani and Eneukwu contesting for the slot.
At press time, there were indications that there would be balloting for the seats where consensus was not reached. The ballot boxes were on display. Each state has a numbered ballot vox assigned to it.