LIVE: Tinubu extends lead after Box 20

The National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, is leading in the ongoing presidential primary of the party in Abuja.

Tinubu extended his lead after Box 20 was counted.

So far, he has obtained over 890 votes to lead his closest contenders, Rotimi Amaechi and Yemi Osinbajo.

Amaechi has obtained 175 votes so far while Osinbajo polled 126.

The winner is expected to be declared in a few hours.

Fourteen aspirants in the race are Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajuba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mr Ahmed Rufai, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Mr Jack Rich, Gov. Ben Ayade, Gov. David Umuahi, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Sen. Ahmed Yarima, Dr Ahmed Lawal, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Gov. Yahaya Bello and Mr Ogbonnaya Onu.

Nine aspirants had earlier withdrawn from the race including Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohnenye, Dr Felix Nicholas, former Gov. Godswill Akpabio, former Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, former Speaker Dimeji Bankole, Sen. Ajayi Boroffice, Gov. Muhammad Badaru, Sen. Ken Nnamani and Gov. Kayode Fayemi.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has hailed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as counting and sorting are underway.

“PYO you remain my hero for life. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of this movement. God bless you all and may we not trade our nation away as some did yesterday,” Ojodu said.

A total of 2,260 delegates of the All Progressives Congress voted at the ongoing party’s Presidential Primary at Eagle Square, Abuja.

The total rundown of states and their respective accredited delegates are as follows:

Abia – 50; Adamawa- 62; Anambra- 63; Bayelsa- 24; Bauchi- 55; Benue- 64; Borno- 81; Cross River- 54; Delta- 73; Enugu- 51; Ekiti- 48; Edo- 54; Ebonyi- 38; FCT- 80.

Others are Gombe- 33; Imo- 81; Jigawa- 81; Lagos- 60; Plateau- 51; Katsina- 102; Kebbi- 63; Kwara- 48; Kogi- 63; Kaduna- 61; Kano- 126; Nasarawa- 39; Niger- 75; Ondo- 54; Ogun- 60; Oyo- 99; Osun- 90; Rivers- 69; Sokoto- 69; Taraba- 46; Yobe- 51 and Zamfara- 42.

The PUNCH had reported that selected members of APC have gathered to choose a candidate for next year’s election to replace the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

They are to select a candidate to face 75-year-old Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party among others in the February 25 presidential ballot.

Buhari, who is stepping down after the two terms he is allowed in the constitution, arrived at the Eagle Square convention centre early in the evening before voting was to start.

The Nigerian leader has spent days leading up to the convention in negotiations with the APC’s leaders seeking unity over a party candidate.

“The fate of the party depends on what we do here,” APC party chairman Abdullahi Adamu said, echoing Buhari’s call for unity in the ranks.

“We cannot go into the general election next year without putting our house together.”

Part of the APC’s debate over candidates relates to “zoning” – an unofficial agreement among political elites that Nigeria’s presidency should rotate between those from the predominantly Christian south and those from the largely Muslim north.

After northern Buhari, observers expected the presidency to go to a candidate from the south.

Buhari, who is stepping down after the two terms he is allowed in the constitution, arrived at the Eagle Square convention centre early in the evening before voting was to start.

The Nigerian leader has spent days leading up to the convention in negotiations with the APC’s leaders seeking unity over a party candidate.

“The fate of the party depends on what we do here,” APC party chairman Abdullahi Adamu said, echoing Buhari’s call for unity in the ranks.

“We cannot go into the general election next year without putting our house together.”

Part of the APC’s debate over candidates relates to “zoning” – an unofficial agreement among political elites that Nigeria’s presidency should rotate between those from the predominantly Christian south and those from the largely Muslim north.

After northern Buhari, observers expected the presidency to go to a candidate from the south.

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