President Muhammadu Buhari has backed the Northern governors’ decision to support the emergence of a southerner as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 general elections.
He made this known at a dinner with the All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Saturday.
The President according to sources at the dinner also refrained from naming any consensus candidate.
He however reportedly asked the southern aspirants to compete in the party’s primary.
Recall that the President had asked APC governors to allow him to choose his successor at a meeting with them on Tuesday.
“In keeping with the established internal policies of the party and as we approach the convention in a few days, therefore, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“I wish to assure you that the consultation process shall continue to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders will be brought on board right through to the convention.
” This will also ensure that any anxiety occasioned by different factors are effectively brought under control and that our party emerges stronger,” Buhari said.
Apart from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, other APC presidential aspirants are the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Serving governors who are also aspiring to be president are Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), and Ben Ayade (Cross River).
Others are former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, and serving senators Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Boroffice, and Rochas Okorocha.
President Buhari’s running mate in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, Nicholas Felix, Ahmad Rufai Sani, Tein Jack-Rich, and Ikeobasi Mokelu are also in the presidential race.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had in May, warned the APC against zoning the 2023 presidential slot to the northern part of the country, saying that would lead to a crisis.
According to him, it is the turn of the southern part of the country to produce the next president.