APC Presidential Aspirants’ Fails To Produce Consensus Candidate After Meeting


APC Presidential Aspirants’ Fails To Produce Consensus Candidate After Meeting

On Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) asked All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants to consult among themselves and select a formidable candidate before the party's presidential primary on Monday.

The President gave the advice during a meeting with all APC presidential aspirants at the State House in Abuja, according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

"Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to consult among yourselves and with the party in order to build a consensus that will help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate, and reduce the anxiety of party members," Buhari was quoted as saying by his spokesman.

'President Buhari to APC Presidential Aspirants: Consult, build consensus, and come up with a formidable candidate,' read the statement.

According to Adesina, the President stated that the meeting was the second in a series of consultations with party stakeholders to ensure the APC's unity and cohesion and to provide direction.

He recalled a meeting with stakeholders "that would help our party's electoral fortunes, beginning with the state governors." This is the second in the series, and I am still looking forward to meeting with stakeholders from both parties. These steps are being taken to ensure the party's unity and cohesion, as well as to provide direction."

He recalled a meeting with stakeholders "that would help our party's electoral fortunes, beginning with the state governors." This is the second in the series, and I am still looking forward to meeting with stakeholders from both parties. These steps are being taken to ensure the party's unity and cohesion, as well as to provide direction."

Noting the upcoming presidential primary, which will see the emergence of one candidate to fly the party's flag in next year's presidential election, Buhari stated that he was aware of party members' concerns about the outcome of the process.

The President was also quoted as saying, "Given these circumstances, I charge you to recognize the importance of the party's stability and unity, which cannot be overstated." Similarly, I'd like to remind you that our flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to voters across the board, and have the ability to unite the country as well as the capacity to address our critical challenges.

"Prior to the convention, the party machinery screened and found all aspirants to be highly qualified." Recognizing this fact, the screening committee has recommended, among other things, that consensus building through consultation be stepped up.

"Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to consult among yourselves and with the party in order to reach a consensus that will assist the party in reducing the number of aspirants, bringing up a formidable candidate, and reducing the anxiety of party members."

The President assured attendees that he would continue to provide effective leadership during the transition process and ongoing consultation "until we successfully make the choice on the candidate who will fly the flag of our party for the presidential election and make the party stronger." I am seeking your assistance in this critical role."

Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the party's National Chairman, had previously promised that all stakeholders would be consulted.

Responding on behalf of the aspirants, the immediate past Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, thanked the President for his leadership and guidance, promising to hold the consultation as advised "for the unity and strength of our party, the APC."

Former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, ex-Zamfara State governor Ahmad Yarima, ex-Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha, ex-Ogun State governor Ibikunle Amosun, and Senate President Ahmed Lawan were among those present.

Others include governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), and Ben Ayade (Cross River; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio; Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Transportation; Onu; Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former Minister of State for Education; and businessman Tein Jack-Rich.

The meeting was also attended by the APC Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the President's Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

•Northern governors believe the South should produce a presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, the APC's ten northern governors have agreed to ensure that the party's presidential candidate is from the South.

The governors signed a joint statement demanding that the South produce the APC's presidential candidate.

To that end, Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru has dropped out of the presidential race.

Lawan, Bello, and Yerima are the other northern competitors in the race.

Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Atiku Bagudu ( (Kebbi). Former Governor Aliyu Wamakko signed on behalf of Sokoto State.

It was titled 'Statement by Northern States' APC Governors and Political Leaders' and was dated June 4, 2022.

The northern governors stated that the decision was made in response to the President's invitation to them and other stakeholders to contribute to the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.

They contended that, with Buhari's term coming to an end, it would only be fair for the South to produce the country's next President.

The northern governors applauded Badaru's decision to withdraw from the presidential race.

The statement read in part, “We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states. We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only aspirants from the South to proceed to the primaries.

“We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru, to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration. The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms.

“This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.”

The issue of zoning had sparked heated debate within the APC. Some argued that with the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party's presidential candidate, the APC would also need to produce a northerner who could compete with him in the region.

Attempts to get a response from the Yahaya Bello Campaign Organisation's Director of Media, Mrs Yemi Kolapo, were futile because she did not respond to an inquiry about whether the Kogi governor would step down.

On Saturday, Yerima's spokesman, Baraden Dosara, did not return phone calls.

However, Senate President Lawan's campaign manager, Iyke Ekeoma, stated that the northern governors only expressed their opinion and that it was up to the APC to accept or reject it.

"Well, they have yet to make a decision at the party level because they are meeting with the President," he explained. The northern governors have made their wishes known. You know what should happen, but the parties involved must accept what they have said and decide whether or not to resign.

“But in the meantime, all the aspirants are meeting with the President. If that’s the decision they arrive at and the party agrees to it, I’m sure they will all be obeying the party’s decision on it.”

Akeredolu applauds the decision

Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Chairman of the Southern Governors' Forum, has praised the northern governors' position, calling it "courageous."

"We, therefore, strongly recommend to President Muhammad Buhari that the search for his successor as the APC presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states," he said in a statement. In the national interest, we urge all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw and allow only aspirants from the south to compete in the primary. We are delighted that our esteemed colleague, Governor Abubakar Badru, has decided to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential bid.

“We did not expect anything short of this heart-warming decision from our colleagues, great patriots and reliable partners in the collaborative efforts geared towards the attainment of nationhood for our dear country. This is indeed another landmark achievement in our quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagements for mutual beneficence.

“We acknowledge this courageous stance for equity and moral rectitude. We applaud the zeal and determination of our brothers to engage realistically and honestly. We salute this uncommon resolve to confront issues militating against the march towards nationhood and ultimate greatness. By this gesture, we are convinced of the seriousness of our colleagues to join other patriots in ensuring that the ascendant march towards stability, progress and prosperity is not truncated by indiscretion.

“We congratulate our brother, Governor Abubakar Badaru, for his exemplary conduct. Posterity will remember him for good. We thank the leadership of the Northern Governors’ Forum for the patriotic zest displayed at this crucial moment. We look forward to conducting a hitch-free convention, which will culminate in the election of a suitable candidate who will hoist the flag of the party with a sense of mission.”

APC threatens ex-Lagos governor over remarks about President Muhammadu Buhari

In a related development, the APC's National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, chastised Tinubu on Saturday for his outburst in Abeokuta on Thursday, in which he claimed Buhari could not win previous presidential elections unless he agreed to support him.

Tinubu also stated that it was the South-turn West's to produce the party's presidential candidate, and that he should be the APC's flag bearer.

In response to the aspirant's remark, Adamu said it was unbecoming of a leader of his stature, and that the party found his remark insulting to the President.

Adamu said, “We are saddened by what we saw in the video and pray that we don’t see such again. I, as the chairman of this party, have a duty to stand by Mr President.

“Tinubu went as far as saying how General Muhammadu Buhari went to him, citing instances of even prostrating in tears and begging him to endorse him and to support him for the presidency. He claimed that Buhari went to him. His utterances are very insulting. It’s very unbecoming for a person of that standing to do what he did to the sitting President of Nigeria, the President produced by the votes of the APC.

“Therefore, we want to make it public that we are saddened by what we saw in the video, in that reportage and we condemn it in the strongest of terms. We do hope that he will never say that kind of thing again, particularly of the APC extraction to make such kind of comment.”

Adamu also expressed concern that, rather than apologizing, Tinubu attempted but failed to twist what he said.

"There was no remorse," he said. We saw some indications of those statements being withdrawn. These are statements of his intention to take action. Yes, we can't say we don't want to see it in the papers. It occurred. He stated that he has the highest regard for the President.

“What is out is out. What he did say was not an apology. It’s just like trying to retract and you say I didn’t mean this. It’s a problem of misinterpretation. It is not regret.”

Asked if the APC would punish the national leader, Adamu said a decision had not been taken.

He said, “If there is the need to penalise any member of the party, not just Bola Tinubu, but anybody, we will bring such to the party’s book.

“At the time this event took place, the screening committee had not presented its report to us or suggested that anybody was under any threat. So, there was no justification for the time that this thing happened.”

When contacted, Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media for Tinubu Campaign Team, simply stated, "We don't want to take issues with the (APC) chairman." That is our stance."

Ajibola Bashiru, the senator representing Osun Central, also advised Adamu to seek out a good Yoruba translator rather than relying on "beer parlour" translation before imposing sanctions on Tinubu.

Bashiru, via his official Twitter account, tweeted, “I think the National Chairman of our party needs a good Yoruba translator so he will not rely on beer parlour translation in meting out his threatened sanctions.”

Tinubu has every right to express his displeasure, as does the APC. NWC — Adamu

Mallam Salihu Lukman, the North-West National Vice Chairman of the APC's National Working Committee, has stated that Tinubu will not face any repercussions for expressing his views at a public function.

Lukman responded to Adamu's statement by emphasizing that the issue should not be blown out of proportion, stating that everyone was entitled to their opinion.

"We all, including Asiwaju, acknowledged that it was unfortunate that he made those statements, and it is his right to express his frustration, and it should be recognized as such," he said.

“But nobody, no matter the position of the person, can use it against him unless the party follows due process through the rightful organs of the party to discuss it.

“So, the opinion expressed by Abdulahi Adamu was his personal opinion and it is his own right to present it to any organ of the party for consideration

“But until that opinion is adopted by the organ of the party, it cannot be considered as the position of the party. It is not the position of the APC; it is his personal opinion.”

Tinubu is defended by Buhari's aide.

Ya'u Darazo, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties, has urged Nigerians, particularly APC members, to disregard Tinubu's opponents' malicious attempt to misrepresent what he told party leaders and delegates in Abeokuta on Thursday.

APC Presidential Aspirants’  Fails To Produce Consensus Candidate After Meeting

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