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 Osibanjo 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Nine aspirants had earlier withdrawn from the race including Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohnenye, Dr Felix Nicholas, former Gov.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.
But the PDP – which held its primary on May 28 and 29 – chose Abubakar, a former vice president and a political stalwart who is a northern Muslim.
The opposition’s choice to ignore “zoning” has made the APC reconsider how their candidate will appeal to the north, where voter numbers and participation are traditionally higher.
Buhari, who is the leader of the ruling party, has not declared support for any candidate and instructed APC members to “allow the delegates to decide.”
“Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections,” he said last week.
Heavy security was deployed in central Abuja early Tuesday and streets were gridlocked as hundreds of APC supporters wearing the party colours of green, white and red gathered in and around the venue.