Ahead of the Presidential primary of the All progressives Congress (APC) that is expected to hold next week, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, held a meeting with Governors under the platform of the APC.
The meeting happened shortly before the president jetted out of the country for Spain.
According to those privy to the meeting, the president told the governors that he would want to pick his successor and needs the governors to support him.
At the meeting that was also attended by the national chairman of the party, Buhari said, “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,” the president said at the meeting which was also attended by the APC national chairman.
The President told the governors that he realises the compelling need for him to provide ‘stronger leadership to the party under this transition process.’
At the meeting with the governors, Buhari also stated the factors he would consider in supporting a presidential candidate among the 25 persons seeking to fly the APC flag.
“Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections,” he said.
Meanwhile sources said the governors at a meeting after meeting with the President are yet to decide on how to go about President Buhari’s demand.
The governors could not agree on how to implement the president’s request but they would continue their meeting into the night to decide on a unanimous decision.
A source who spoke with Premium Times said, “We believe the president has not settled for any particular person and that is why some governors felt the best thing to do was to nominate two of us (one each from the north and south) to the president for consideration.”
The source said many northern governors, however, argued that no southern governor could defeat Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, in the presidential election; so the north should be given preference.
Some of the southern governors however argued that the nominees do not have to be state governors. This position is believed to have been pushed by governors loyal to some southern presidential candidates such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and ex-Lagos governor Bola Tinubu.