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2019: US-based oil magnate to vie for APC ticket, as Okorocha says no automatic ticket for Buhari



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United States-based oil magnate, SKC Ogbonnia, has declared his intention to vie for the presidency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 presidential election.

Ogbonnia, a notable supporter of Buhari’s 2015 election bid, is the chairman of First Texas Energy Corporation and also the Secretary-General of Nigeria Union Diaspora (NUD), a group that projects the interests of Nigeria in the United States.

Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State revealed to State House correspondents Thursday following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, that there would be no automatic ticket for the president should he decide to seek reelection.

Okorocha, who is chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, an association of governors under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said all the candidates interested in the 2019 election must pass through the democratic process.

“He has every right and qualification to re-contest, there is nothing wrong at all. But, we don’t allow imposition of candidates. It must be democratically done,” he said.

“If President Buhari will lead the ship in 2019, it must be democratically done, and I said, democratically done, transparently (done) to the amazement of the whole world, the way we do our things in APC and people will be happy.”

Recall that some days ago, the Buhari Support Group (BSG) had paid a visit to the president after which they touted his reelection.

At the end of the meeting, Abu Ibrahim, leader of BSG, had revealed that 189 groups had endorsed Buhari for 2019.

Ahmad Lawan, Senate Majority Leader, who was also in the BSG delegation, had said Buhari had no choice than to run in 2019.

Read also: 2019: APC NEC ‘silent’ on Buhari’s chances as flag bearer

Also, earlier in the week when the ruling party held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, some governors had reportedly made attempts to secure an automatic ticket for the president but did not succeed.

In Ogbonnia’s statement, issued Thursday, the Awgu, Enugu State-born businessman said his decision followed consultations with Nigerians and the resolve not to allow “a visionless clique continues to dictate our future”.

The statement read, “After wide consultations within Nigeria and around the world, I have decided to seek the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under All Progressive Congress (APC).

“This decision did not come easy. But there comes a time to say, enough is enough. We can no longer sit idly by while a visionless clique continues to dictate our future. We can no longer sit on the sidelines while the masses, particularly the youth, continue to wallow in abject poverty and despair, despite abundant human and natural resources in the land. We must no longer sit and watch politicians deploy our common wealth to send their families overseas for their education and healthcare while the masses at home have nowhere to go for their welfare. We can do much better.

“But this campaign is not business as usual. It represents the much-awaited democratic mass revolution to take back our country and make it better for all. The movement calls for a new breed of leaders, including the youth, who have the zeal and the competencies to cope with the demands of the 21st century. The movement calls for a visionary and dynamic leader with the requisite knowledge, preparations, experiences, and the capacity to transform Nigeria to greatness.

“This movement beckons an upright leader who is not part of the status quo—a leader who has the moral audacity to demonstrate consequences for bad behaviour in Nigeria without minding whose ox is gored. Moreover, this critical time in history demands a president who truly believes in the unity of Nigeria—a leader who understands that lasting unity is more attainable through equity, justice, and progress for all.

“Fellow Citizens, now is the time; 2019 is the moment, and I am that leader. Also encouraging is that there is a wide path to victory. The masses, as well as the international community, yearn for true democratic change in Nigeria. And we, the masses, are the majority. We have equally become wiser. We shall no longer allow politicians to buy our votes for their selfish interests. We shall no longer allow them to use ethnicity or religion to divide us as usual. We are united by common faith and the greater good.

“Best of all, we shall fulfill our promises. We shall not be beholden to the selfish wishes of an oligarchy that typically funds Nigerian campaigns. Our team has the resources to fund this campaign—from the wards to the national level. What we need, instead, is God’s guidance and active support from the masses.

“The decision to continue with APC is quite in order. To encourage strong opposition activity and efficient checks and balances in governance, Nigeria’s democracy does not need too many political parties. Therefore, having made a defining history by displacing a dominant corrupt party from power, APC remains a beacon of hope for our democratic future.

“But we shall reposition the party as a model for true change in line with its founding principles. We are well set to provoke a paradigm shift in the APC to meet the yearnings of the masses.

“Fellow Nigerians, this movement is not about me. It is not about east, west, north or south. It is not about this zone or that zone. The movement is all about our inner conscience as Nigerians. It is about the future of our beloved country. It is about making Nigeria great for all. And we will win, God’s willing.”


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Click to comment


  1. Anita Kingsley

    November 3, 2017 at 8:42 am

    If SKC Ogbonnia was truly a supporter of Buhari’s 2015 election, he will never refer to Buhari’s government as a visionless clique. Definitely, he supported Buhari for his selfish reasons, believing Buhari would award contracts to him and help his business in Nigeria

    • Abeni Adebisi

      November 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

      He supported Buhari very well in 2015, and so far, Buhari has not dissapointed him alone but the majority of Nigerians who queued behind him in 2015 to kick Jonathan out. Nigerians are very angry

  2. Animashaun Ayodeji

    November 3, 2017 at 8:54 am

    This man thinks politics is the same as he runs his oil business? Businessmen are not needed in politics as candidates for any leadership role, SKC Ogbonnia, Nigerians don’t want you, we’re all seeing what Donald Trump is doing to America right now, we don’t want a similar government here in Nigeria, please face your oil.

  3. Abeni Adebisi

    November 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I respect APC for taking a stand against automatic ticket, it will definitely pass a message to the president that the party members will score him by his achievements since he has been the president and decide if he deserves to re-contest or take a bow

    • yanju omotodun

      November 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Mtchew, you must be a naive in Nigeria politics


    November 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Nonsense and gimmicks, buhari will surely be their flagbearer, they just want to fool us.

  5. Balarabe musa

    November 4, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Nonsense, how can a united states based oil magnate who nothing about Nigerians come to be our president, well, it’s just a mere ploy that can not change the will of Allah, baba buhari is to continue till 2023

  6. Oise Oikelomen

    November 5, 2017 at 10:22 am

    See the bland speech he used to declare his intention. Very uninspiring first shot. Mtchew!

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