By Emmanuel Nduka
Southern presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may now be the leading contenders after 11 northern governors of the party asked that the presidential ticket of the party be zoned to the south.
In a statement signed by 11 governors, they said it was a question of honour for the APC, and thus asked all northern aspirants in the race to withdraw in the national interest.
“This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate,” the Governors said.
See the full statement below:
Statement by Northern States’ APC Governors and Political Leaders
APC governors and political leaders from the northern states of Nigeria today met to review the political situation and to further support our Party in providing progressive leadership amidst our national challenges. During our discussions, we welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation to governors and other stakeholders to contributeto the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.
After careful deliberation, we wish to state our firm conviction that after eight years in office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 elections should be one of our teeming members from the southern states of Nigeria. It is a question of honour for the APC, anobligation that is not in anyway affected by the decisions taken by another political party. We affirm that upholding this principle is in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country.
We therefore wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states. We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries. We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms. This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.
Signed, 4th June 2022:
1. Aminu Bello Masari Governor of Katsina State
2. Abubakar Sani Bello Governor of Niger State
3. Abdullahi A. Sule Governor of Nasarawa State
4. Prof. B.G. Umara Zulum Governor of Borno State
5. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai Governor of Kaduna State
6. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya Governor of Gombe State
7. Bello M. Matawalle Governor of Zamfara State
8. Simon Bako Lalong Governor of Plateau State
9. Senator Aliyu Wamakko Former Governor of Sokoto State
10. Dr. A.U. Ganduje Governor of Kano State
11. Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu Governor of Kebbi State