The battle for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is going to be one of the closest fought since the 1993 face-off between Babagana Kingibe and MKO Abiola in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), TheCable Verdict 2015 Panel has predicted. Muhamamadu Buhari

At a meeting that went into the wee hours of Wednesday, 12 APC governors reached a final agreement to pitch their tent with Muhammadu Buhari, former military head of state, but Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, is reaching out directly to the delegates. At the meeting, which took place at Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos, the governors who agreed to support Buhari are: Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers).

The two other governors, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo), are also gunning for the presidential ticket. TheCable understands that Kwankwaso has been persuaded to step down for Buhari, which he agreed, but will still put up an appearance without putting up a fight at the convention.

Atiku, on this part, is basing his calculations on the fact that APC governors control only 14 states and their influence in the remaining 22 states is not strong. TheCable understands that Atiku has zeroed in on delegates from 16 states which they consider winnable: Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Jigawa, Taraba, Yobe, Delta, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Ekiti and Ondo ─ as well as the FCT. In Atiku’s camp, the calculation is to deal directly with the delegates, even from states controlled by pro-Buhari governors. With Atiku’s heavy war chest, the APC hierarchy had become jittery about the high possibility of his victory.

As a counterforce, Amaechi ─ who is the biggest financial backer of Buhari and is heavily favoured to pick the vice-presidential slot ─ flew in a heavy “war chest” to the pro-Buhari camp in Lagos on Wednesday morning, sources told TheCable. The strategy in the pro-Buhari camp is to match Atiku naira-for-naira and dollar-for-dollar. “Atiku cannot just come in and pick the ticket after all the hard work we did breaking up the PDP and setting up the APC,” a southern governor told TheCable on phone. Follow us on twitter @thecableng

Read more at: | TheCable

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