WORRIED, Wednesday, spread among presidential candidates over President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement asking governors to give him the privilege of supporting a candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While some blamed the president for making such a request, others thought he was likely taken out of context by the media, as the issue is one of democracy and freedom of choice.
Buhari reportedly asked for leniency from APC governors to choose his successor as the party’s candidate for 2023, during a meeting with them on Tuesday.
The President endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu among 25 presidential candidates to pave the way for his emergence as substantive National President at the party’s October 2020 convention.
No less than 23 presidential candidates had been shortlisted ahead of the party’s presidential primary to be held June 6-7 in Abuja.
A national coordinator for one of the top aspirants who pleaded to remain anonymous told the Nigerian Tribune on Wednesday that the statement came as a surprise to many, amid the process that pushed the president to run and win the latest general elections.
The source pointed out that the president went through primary elections against other candidates to become the APC’s standard bearer in its formative year in 2015, although he was the party’s only candidate in 2019.
He added that Buhari’s statement goes against the principles of democracy which places great importance on providing fair conditions for all eligible individuals in a political party. However, the party’s leading member, a former state commissioner
missionary, said the president was likely quoted out of context by “some critics in an attempt to compound the apparent confusion in the
APC on the process that would lead to the choice of its presidential candidate.
He claimed that certain elements inside and outside the APC were orchestrating the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the opposition Peoples Demo-
the cratic party (PDP) had thrown a spoke in the wheels of the ruling party in the search for
a candidate who could make it work.
Another APC topline said that although party members look to the president for leadership, days before the primary they believe he can still give all key stakeholders a chance. to decide who would become the flag bearer of the APC.
He felt that the president’s statement had “heightened the suspense over the race for the party ticket due to the fear of imposing the president’s preferred choice.
But a senior officer from another aspirant’s support group said the opinion expressed by the president could be mostly directed against governors because of their impressive influence within the CPA on the need for them to avoid undue feelings in the desire to determine the APC standard. -carrier.
He said caution was needed as governors might decide to unite and insist that one of their own in the contest be presented as the preferred choice for the ticket. The source called for due process and a popular mode of primary, recall,
“We voted until 7 p.m. the next day in the presidential primary that produced President Muhammad Buhari as the APC candidate.
you want those who have voluntarily obtained nomination and expression of interest forms to submit to another set of rules of engagement? »
He alleged that certain forces were behind the back-and-forth movement within the party in the upcoming primary, “for fear that some candidates might roll to victory!”
He said while all genuine party members look to Buhari to “offer the necessary guide; no attempt should be encouraged to quell aspirants by stirring up feelings.
Your choice of candidate will jeopardize our luck, APC national stakeholders tell Buhari
In the meantime, one group, the APC National Stakeholders, disagreed with the president’s statement which they said was hostile to the ruling party’s fortunes in the upcoming election.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, national forum organizer Aliyu Audu said his group feared the party was about to be deprived of the right to choose a formidable candidate ahead of the 2023 general election. recalled that the process that brought down Senator Abdullahi Adamu
created bad blood, as the chiefs who were forced to resign thought they were being treated
Short of accusing Buhari of insincerity, Audu said
his position that governors should allow him to choose his anointed choice went against his earlier assurances that he would allow a level playing field for all aspirants.
He said: “In a January 6, 2022 interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the President made it clear that he would not play the role of kingmaker in choosing his successor.
and any other elective office, just as he said he tried about three times to run for president before emerging, and anyone who wants to become the next president should also work there.
“Just a month ago, while answering questions from reporters after observing Eid al-Fitr prayers in Abuja, the President also said he had no favorite candidate for the 2023 presidential election. Instead, he said whoever will succeed him is the person Nigerians elect.
“Our understanding of this statement is that the Nigerian he refers to includes APC members directly or indirectly elected to fly the party flag in general elections:
The group called on President Buhari to retrace his steps, noting that imposing a presidential candidate is undemocratic and could undermine his promise to inspire confidence in the electoral process.
“The best legacy that President Muhammad Buhari can leave to the APC and Nigeria as a whole is that of a deep-rooted democratic process where Nigerians can freely choose who
represents them at all levels in free, fair, credible and transparent processes.
“That heritage must manifest from the All Progressives Congress which prides itself on being a party with progressive ideals different from other actions. If the so-called “established internal policies” of party succession fulfill all democratic criteria, we wouldn’t have as much of a crisis in the party as we have seen lately.
“As we speak, the party’s ongoing primary elections across the country, which should have been concluded, are still subject to
infighting in a number of places. Is this the kind of legacy the president wants to leave behind?
“As someone who entered a free, fair and credibly challenged democratic process in 2015 and also won re-election thanks to
the same process in 2019, the president must not only ensure that this standard is maintained, he must stick to his own words and advice, as was strongly expressed in the January 6 interview on Nigeria Television Authority that the APC must conduct itself properly and allow the system to work,” he said.
He added that if the candidate election process is flawed to the point of leaving members disenchanted, the party is already on the way to losing the election. Let delegates choose your successor, APC NWC member tells Buhari
Outgoing Executive Director of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and National Vice President,