President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to make public his choice of candidate for the forthcoming presidential election come 2023.
Instead, the President chose to ask presidential aspirants under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to consult among themselves and choose a formidable candidate before the party’s presidential primary on Monday.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President gave the advice during a meeting with all the APC presidential aspirants at the State House, Abuja, Nigeria.
President Buhari was quoted as saying, “Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultation among yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that will help the party to reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”
The statement which was titled, ‘President Buhari to APC presidential aspirants: Consult, build consensus and come up with a formidable candidate’, added that, “Given these circumstances, I charge you to recognise the importance of the stability and unity of the party, which cannot be overemphasized.
“Similarly, I wish to remind you that our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board, and should command such ability to unify the country and the capacity to address our critical challenges.
“Ahead of the convention, the party machinery has screened and found all aspirants eminently qualified. Recognising this fact, the screening committee has, among others, recommended that consensus building through consultation be intensified.
“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultation among yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that will help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”
Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had promised that all stakeholders would be reached in the consultation process.
Those in attendance included a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; an ex-Zamfara State governor, Ahmad Yarima; former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun; and Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
Others are governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Ben Ayade (Cross River); former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Onu; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; and businessman, Tein Jack-Rich.
The Secretary of the APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, also attended the meeting.
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