The youngest presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Nicolas Felix, on Monday, August 29, dismissed an earlier report that the brainstorming session of all aspirants who participated in the last APC convention had been cancelled, The Punch reports.
Telescope.ng reports that Felix, who made the clarification in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, stated that he called for the roundtable for them to meet minds and come up with viable strategies to win the 2023 general election.
He said: “The choice of Abuja wasn’t a mistake. I called the meeting for us to address the challenges bedevilling our country and inclusive politics. We will also brainstorm on adopting winning campaign strategies that seek to carry every Nigerian along in our bid to coast home to victory in the 2023 general elections.”
The meeting is scheduled to hold on Wednesday at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja by 2.00 pm.
The last outing of the political gladiators was at the APC presidential primary which was held at Eagle Square on June 7.
Among those expected to be in attendance are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Science and Technology Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
There would also be five serving governors, namely Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
Others are Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; former Ogun State governor and serving senator, Ibikunle Amosun; a serving senator, Ajayi Boroffice; former Zamfara governor, Ahmad Sani; former Imo State governor and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; fiery cleric, Tunde Bakare; Pastor and Businessman, Dr Nicolas Felix; former Information Minister, Ikeobasi Mokelu; Businessman, Tein Jack-Rich and the only female among them, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
Tinubu had defeated former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 12 others to clinch the sole ticket.
He polled 1,271 votes to emerge victorious at the end of the Special National Convention of the party on Wednesday in Abuja.
The race for the presidential flag bearer started with 23 aspirants, but nine withdrew shortly before the commencement of voting at the convention.
When contacted for reaction, the Director of Media and Communications for Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed that he read about it but could not conclude if his principal would attend.
He said: “I read it somewhere but can’t comment on it until I confirm.”
The former Minister of Communication and Director General of Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance, Adebayo Shittu, disclosed that he was unaware of the roundtable.
He said: “I am not aware of the meeting but I think it is a welcome development. Unfortunately, I am in Ibadan at the moment and won’t be able to make it back on Wednesday.”
As of the time of filing this report, the National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, could not, however, be reached for a reaction.
The development is coming three days after the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Adamu, led a delegation of the National Working Committee to the campaign office of the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the Central Business District in Abuja.
The visit, which was held behind closed doors, also had Tinubu’s running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima; National Vice Chairman for Southwest, Isaac Kekemeke; National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel; Deputy National Chairman for North, Senator Abubakar Kyari and other notable NWC members in attendance.
While commending Tinubu for his resilience and structures erected towards ensuring an effective political campaign, Adamu praised his level of preparedness for the task ahead.
Tinubu had come under fire over his preference for a Muslim-Muslim ticket to bolster his chances at the February 28 presidential poll.
His choice of Shettima has created mixed feelings in the camp of the APC with several former aspirants and party chieftains feeling left out of his campaign plan.