By Emeka Okafor
President Muhammadu Buhari has said he has not anointed any one as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party begins its national convention and elect APC presidential candidate in Abuja.
Buhari said he will allow delegates of the party choose their preferred aspirant as the flagbearer of the party for the 2023 general elections.
In a statement on Monday issued by the President’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said he would not imposed a candidate on the party.
The statement quoted the Buhari have told APC Northern Governors who paid him a visit at the Aso Villa that he had no preferred candidate among those jostling for the party’s ticket.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday afternoon cleared all doubts about where he stands on the choice of a presidential candidate for the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, declaring before the party’s 14 governors of northern states that he has “no preferred candidate,” and has “anointed no one,” and is determined to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
“Speaking at a meeting with the Governors at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari said the party is important and its members must be respected, and made to feel they are important.
“The President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way: “You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The Party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody.”
“Earlier in their addresses, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of the Progressive Governors Forum, said they had come to affirm the position of the Northern Governors that the party’s candidate in the presidential election shall come from the southern part of the country.
“They apologised to the President for the leakage of their signed memorandum which was not in support of any particular candidate and gave assurances to the President on their readiness to accept his leadership on the matter.”
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