The venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Women’s Conference on Tuesday was thrown into confusion as party women sympathetic to Nigerian Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo and APC National Leader, Mr Bola Tinubu, clashed over the struggle for the party’s presidential ticket.
The declaration of Tinubu a week ago for the office of the president has angered those in Osinbajo’s camp who accused the former Lagos State governor of not showing respect for the office of the vice president, who ordinarily should be given the first right of refusal to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Trouble started when hundreds of women sympathetic to Osinbajo stormed the Abuja International Conference Centre, venue of the conference, demanding the party’s ticket for Osinbajo to actualise his presidency in 2023.
No sooner had they started chorusing ‘Osinbajo for president’ than the women sympathetic to Tinubu started chorusing Tinubu’s name leading to a shouting march.
Osinbajo’s women coalition included market women, farmers, traders, artisans and professionals.
The venue was quietened after the intervention of party executives who told everyone that the gathering was not for campaign or fight.
After calm was restored, Osinbajo’s supporters addressed journalists, where they urged the party’s caretaker committee to strictly ensure that delegates to its national convention are not hijacked by those who have participated in looting state or federal resources in the past.
Leader of the Steering Committee of Women’s Coalition for Osinbajo, Hajia Rabi Dauda, who addressed journalists said, “We are rooting for Osinbajo, not because there are no other aspirants but because he is the most qualified and the one with the most easily predictable disposition towards development issues that are of utmost concern to women.
“Nigerian women trust Osinbajo more than any other presidential aspirant and he already has an idea of what the specific challenges of governance in present times really mean.
“We believe that Osinbajo can consolidate upon whatever good foundation that Baba Buhari has laid and Nigerian women are more optimistic about prospects for a better future under an Osinbajo presidency.
“At this APC National Women’s Conference and beyond here, we are urging all Nigerian women to actively mobilize support for Osinbajo in the interest of generations yet unborn because 2023 elections will leave very enduring impact on the fate of Nigeria,” she said.