President Muhammadu Buhari, late Saturday, asked presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress to consult amongst themselves and choose a formidable candidate before the party’s presidential primary elections on Monday, June 6, 2022, according to The PUNCH.
“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members,” he said.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari spoke during a meeting with all the APC presidential aspirants at State House, Abuja.
The Statement is titled ‘President Buhari to APC presidential aspirants: consult, build consensus, and come up with a formidable candidate.’
According to Adesina, the President said the meeting is the second of a series of consultations with party stakeholders to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party are sustained and to provide direction.
Recalling the consultation he had held with stakeholders “that would help the electoral fortunes of our party, beginning with the State Governors. This is the second in the series and I still look forward to meeting with party stakeholders. These steps are being taken to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party are sustained and to provide direction.
Noting the forthcoming presidential primary that would midwife the emergence of one candidate to fly the party’s flag in next year’s Presidential Election, Buhari said he was aware that there is anxiety among party members about the outcome of the process.
“Given these circumstances,” he said, “I charge you to recognize the importance of the stability and unity of the party, which cannot be overemphasized.
“Similarly, I wish to remind you that our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges.
“Ahead of the Convention, the party machinery has screened and found all aspirants eminently qualified. Recognizing this fact, the Screening Committee has, amongst others, recommended that consensus building through consultation, be intensified.
“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”
The President assured attendees that in the interest of the nation and the party, he would continue to provide effective leadership during the transition processes and on-going consultations, “until we successfully make the choice on the candidate that will fly the flag of our party for the presidential elections and make the party stronger. I seek your support in this all-important responsibility.”
Earlier, National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had promised that all stakeholders of the party would be reached in the consultation process.
Responding on behalf of the aspirants, former Governor of old Abia State and immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, and Vice President, ‘Yemi Osinbajo, thanked the President for his leadership and guidance, pledging that they would hold the consultations as counseled “for the unity and strength of our party, the APC.”
Those in attendance include Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, Former Zamfara State Governor, Ahmad Yarima, Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Fayemi Kayode (Ekiti), Ben Ayade (Cross River), former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio, Former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, Former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Jack-Rich amongst others.
Others include the APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Party Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.