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APC Primary: President Buhari To Take Final Decision As Govs Failed To Reach Consensus

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to make a final decision on the way forward this weekend, after governors elected on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) platform failed to reach an agreement on a presidential candidate ahead of the party’s national convention on Monday, June 6 in Abuja.

As a measure of reciprocity, the president, who is now on a trip to Spain and met with the party’s 22 governors and national chairman, Abdullahi Ada­mu, on Monday, demanded the right to choose his successor.

While governors who had just completed their first term were given the opportunity to secure a second term ticket, outgoing governors, after serving out their constitutional two terms of eight years, were also given the opportunity to choose their successors, he requested to be allowed to do so.

The governors met twice on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss a path ahead, but they were unable to agree on who to recommend to the president for consideration due to a severe divide among them on who to present as a consensus candidate.

With 14 governors in the North and eight in the South, the fight has devolved into a North-South brawl, with governors from both regions refusing to budge.

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According to the Daily Independent, APC governors loyal to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the ruling party’s front­line presidential candidate, have rejected the idea of a Northern consensus candidate ahead of the presidential primary.

Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Babagana Zulum of Borno, and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State lead the pro-Tinubu governors.

Even though the president has yet to formally declare his pick, reliable presidential sources told the Daily Independent that he wants his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to succeed him.

Some power brokers in the ruling party, however, believe that no Southern candidate can equal Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential nominee, and are lobbying for a northern candidate to split the votes from the north.

As a result, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru are being proposed.

According to party sources, governors loyal to Tinubu have angrily opposed the idea of a Northern presidential candidate, insisting that if the party insists on a consensus candidate, it must be the former Lagos State governor.

“A conference of governors convened yesterday at the Asokoro residence of the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, ended in an impasse since they were unable to achieve an agreement.”

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“Tinubu’s supporters believe that while President Buhari has the right to choose his preferred candidate, he should allow other candidates to prove their popularity in a primary.” Nobody should be forced to resign if they don’t want to.

“They also believe that if the party insists on running a consensus candidate, Tinubu must be that candidate since he is the only one with the clout to defeat a powerful leader like Atiku.”

“They also disputed the claim made by some of their colleagues that no Southerner can defeat Atiku, claiming that Tinubu has the same popularity as the late MKO Abiola, who defeated the late Bashir Tofa in his native state of Kano and won the annulled presidential election on June 12, 1993.”

Given the impasse, President Buhari is anticipated to plan a course forward and offer his candidate to the party ahead of the convention when he returns to Nigeria from his trip to Madrid, Spain.

 

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