By Uche Amunike
Hours to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Primary Election, President Muhammadu Buhari has still not named his preferred candidate and has actually confirmed to APC governors during a meeting with them at the presidential villa in Abuja, Monday, that he had no anointed candidate.
According to Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari erased all doubts about his choice of a candidate for the ruling party.
He stated that President informed the 14 Governors of the APC northern states, that he has no preferred candidate and has not anointed anyone and is also determined to ensure that no candidates shall be imposed and the party.
His words: ‘The President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way. You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The Party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody.’
President Buhari said that the party is important and its members must be respected and made to feel important as well.
The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of the Progressive Governors Forum, also stated also that they attended to affirm the position of the Northern Governors that the party’s candidate in the APC presidential primary election shall come from the southern part of the country.
They went on to apologize to President Buhari for their signed memorandum which leaked, saying that it was not in support of any particular candidate. They also assured him that they were ready to accept his leadership on the matter.
On his part, Buhari’s ally, Hon. Farouq Aliyu stated: ‘As of today, the APC has no consensus candidate for president. The President has not anointed anybody. But some of us believe it should go to the south.’
Reports however emerged on Monday, saying that the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu has picked Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the Presidential candidate of the party.
This was however debunked by the members of the National Working Committee, NWC, saying that they never endorsed the Senate President as consensus Presidential candidate of the party.
The APC Presidential primary was scheduled to kick off in Abuja on Monday and conclude on Wednesday, but as at the time of filing this report, the event was yet to commence.
A total of 23 Presidential aspirants are gunning for the party’s ticket, presently and Mr Garba Shehu’s statement indicates that all 23 of them will prove their mettle at the APC Presidential primary election.
Apart from Ahmad Lawan, all other presidential aspirants include Ex-Lagos Governor and APC chieftain, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi.