By John Ikani
All is now set for the special convention and presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) holding today at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had fixed June 6 to 8, 2022 for the special convention and presidential primary.
The venue of the convention is wearing a new look with all the pavillions already assigned to delegates for each state.
Whoever emerges from 23 aspirants will lead the party into next February’s election against Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition party.
The fate of 23 presidential aspirants will be decided by 2,322 delegates to elect or select the party’s flag bearer at the presidential election billed for February 2023.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu and Rotimi Amaechi, until recently a transport minister, are the favourites to be chosen as the APC candidate.
The party was re-elected into power four years later and has since consolidated its reach across Nigeria, winning several local parliamentary seats and taking onboard defecting governors in southern Nigeria.
Some senior party members, including President Buhari, have been pushing for a consensus candidate to avoid a vote at the convention that might split the party.
Mr Buhari told the party’s governors last week that he expected “reciprocity” from them at the convention in choosing his successor, which many have interpreted as his desire to impose a candidate on the party.
However, barring last-minute changes, the ruling party may be heading for an elective primary, as moves to have a consensus arrangement failed.
The Southwest stakeholders’ meetings held yesterday failed to arrive at a consensus candidate, while the meetings of Southeast and Southsouth leaders of the party were deadlocked.
Neither region was able to arrive at the presentation of a consensus candidate at their meetings.
The northern governors of the party had, on Saturday, endorsed power shift to the South at the expiration of the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.