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Ribadu is ACN consensus presidential candidate

AT last the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)  has adopted former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as its consensus presidential candidate for the April 2011 polls.

Ribadu emerged form the CAN special congress yesterday in Lagos, a day after the Democratic Party (PDP) picked President Goodluck Jonathan as its standard bearer in the planned election.

The former anti-graft czar became the sole candidate of the party after former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa  and a businessman, Saidu Malami, withdrew from the race

Ribadu was subsequently adopted as the consensus candidate by a voice vote. The motion to adopt him as the consensus candidate was moved by Boss Mustapha and seconded by ACN National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire

Boss, who is the deputy national chairman of the party, said the move was in accordance with Electoral Act of 2011. “What we have done now is to confirm the nomination of Ribadu as our candidate for the 2011 general election.

“A party shall convene a special convention or congress at a designated centre on a specific date for the confirmation of that aspirants and the name of the aspirants will be forwarded to the commission as a candidate of the party.”

The delegates and supporters of the party accepted the party leadership’s choice as they shouted in support of it.

Ribadu, who was close to tears, promised not to let the party and the people of Nigeria down. He also urged the citizens to form a common front against the PDP in the April poll.

In his withdrawal speech, Bafarawa said it was a great opportunity that the party gave him to demonstrate his aspiration to become president on its platform.

Bafarawa said that he did not come to the party because he wanted to become president. “My record of achievements as governor are there to bear witness. All i wanted to do is to have the opportunity to take what i did at the state level to the national level because of the way the PDP is leading the country. Our purpose in ACN is straight and we have a common goal. I don’t want to be seen as somebody that will destroy the party. I will make a big sacrifice to withdraw my aspiration as i promised to support the candidate of the party.”

Also, Malami said he represented the masses of the country. “I represent those people the PDP has denied good government, those that are plying the bad roads, suffering the power supply and other vices that the PDP had perpetrated in government. But since the leadership of the party after due consultations and understanding has prevailed on me that the party as an organisation can demonstrate my aspiration better, I therefore withdraw my aspiration.”

The former top police officer said he began his career as a public servant 26 years ago at Onikan and that history was made again in Lagos State with his emergence as the presidential candidate of the ACN.

He said the people of Nigeria should be ready for a change as the ACN is set to rid the nation of the PDP in this year’s general election.

ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande charged the youths to take their destiny in their hands, as the PDP-led government seems not ready to provide for their welfare.

He said Nigerians must be ready to pay the sacrifice if they want to get rid of PDP in the next election. “There was a time in this country that things were good but the PDP came and destroyed everything. The 2011 poll is an opportunity to chase the party out of government.“

The convention was devoid of crisis as Bafarawa and Malami mounted the podium to announce their withdrawal from the race.

According to close sources, Ribadu was unanimously picked by the leadership of the party at a meeting with all the aspirants where it was agreed that Ribadu should be the flagbearer of ACN.

The Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, also called on Nigerians to take the coming poll serious and never allow any chance to slip them by voting for the most credible party.

His Edo State counterpart, Adams Oshiomohole said ACN had demonstrated enough resilience for Nigerians to emulate and go to the poll with determination to unseat PDP.  “It is not difficult to defeat the PDP if we are determined. Our vote must count and we must also stand by one-man one -vote.”

The Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi emphasised on the need for Nigerians and particularly the party’s supporters to take the voters’ registration as a matter of must.

Ribadu said if elected into office, he would solve the challenges facing the nation.  He said: “Our party and my team have thought carefully about how to overcome the nations present challenges. We will tackle insecurity, kidnapping, armed robbery all over the country. We will create paying jobs, the power sector will be overhauled to generate regular and affordable security. Above all, we will wage a relentless war against poverty.

“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been totally unfair to our own people. Time has come for Nigerians to also be part of it. To benefit, to take something from this God-given resources.

“Our party is the party of progress, and the only party of social transformation. If you like what is happening in Lagos, if you like what is happening in Ekiti, if you like what is happening in Edo, imagine what an ACN federal administration will deliver, imagine what will happen in Abuja,” Ribadu said.

-Guardian

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