First Executive Governor of Edo State and vice-presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in the 2011 presidential elections, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has emerged as the new national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Indications emerged that he clinched the position last night at the party’s national convention in Abuja after his major rivals; former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva withdrew from the race, while Chief Tom Ikimi, was yet to show up at the convention at press time and Chief Sam Jaja, who was also touted as showing interest in the race, did not purchase the nomination form.
It was learnt that Ikimi’s no-show might not be unconnected with the pressure mounted on his backer, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar Thursday night, to ask the ex-Foreign Minister to step down for Oyegun.
Although Ikimi seemed to have bowed to the wish of the party leaders, there were speculations that he might defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has been waiting in the sidelines to snap him up and others, who might feel disgruntled about the outcome of the national convention.
Other leaders set to emerge at the convention are ex-Ekiti Governor, Mr. Segun Oni (Deputy National Chairman); Lai Mohammed (National Publicity Secretary); Hon. Zakare Ede, National Vice-Chairman for North-Central; Hajiya Ramatu, National Woman Leader; Jock Alamba, Deputy Welfare Secretary; Hajiya Hassan, North-Central Zonal Woman Leade; Hon. Nelson Alapa, ex-Officio from the North-Central; Deputy National Chairman (North) Senator Lawal Shuaib and National Secretary, Alhaji Ibrahim Bala Gubi.