Written by on May 31, 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari is soliciting the support of the governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and other stakeholders in picking his successor, who would fly the flag of the party at the 2023 Presidential Election.

The President said this on Tuesday, at a meeting with the governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said, “In keeping with the established internal policies of the party, and as we approach the convention in a few days, I, therefore, 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.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Office of the Special Adviser To The President On Media And Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the President also told the governors that the party should present a candidate, who would give the party a sense of victory and confidence.

President Buhari also told the Progressives Governors Forum to align with the position of the party and ensure that the forthcoming convention to pick a presidential candidate, reflects the values and virtues of the party.

The President said, he recognized the compelling need to provide stronger leadership to the party, during the transition process, and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.

He affirmed that consultations will continue in the days leading to the national convention, to ensure that all the aspirants are carried along.

He said that the APC’s focus was to remain on the changing dynamics of the nation’s political environment, and the expectations of the citizens and the global community, even as he emphasized the need for internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand, for the party to achieve bigger electoral fortunes.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, quoted the President as telling the participants, “The processes for the 2023 General Elections have commenced in earnest and I note that the most successful political parties globally have always relied on their internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand to achieve bigger electoral fortunes. Our party, the APC, shall not be any different, more so as we are still implementing the blueprint for a more prosperous nation.”

The President warned that he will apply stronger control on the ruling party in his last year at the helm, to ensure that it remains strong and united so that it can retain power.

According to him, “As I begin the final year of my second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of the party, I recognize the compelling need for me to provide stronger leadership to the party, under this transition process, and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.

“Such leadership is required so that the party remains strong and united. It is also needed to improve our electoral fortunes, by ensuring that it retains power at the center, holds the great majority in various legislative chambers, and also gains an additional number of states.

“In a few days, the party will be holding its convention, during which primaries would take place, to pick the Presidential Flag Bearer for the 2023 General Elections. This is a very significant process, and its outcome should prove to the world, the positive quality of the APC, regarding democratic principles, culture, as well as leadership.”

The President appealed to all the governors, “to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community. Our objective must be the victory of our party, and our choice of the candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses, a sense of victory and confidence, even before the elections.”

While assuring that the consultation process will continue to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders are brought on board, right through to the convention, he stressed that it would also ensure that any anxiety, occasioned by different factors, is effectively brought under control, “and that our party emerges stronger.”

Speaking on behalf of the state governors, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, said the party must build on the successes of its recent elective convention, and the primaries conducted so far, “and come up with a candidate who will walk in the footsteps of patriotism and love for the country, which Mr. President has shown,” adding, “We will support Mr. President to have a very successful convention.”

Meanwhile, sources at the meeting told our correspondent that, President Buhari has recommended that several presidential aspirants going into the party primaries should be reduced to a manageable figure, with the National Chairman, expressing the hope that, aspirants can be pruned to four.

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