President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the All Progressives Congress, APC, will provide a candidate who will give the party a sense of success and confidence ahead of the party’s convention to determine its presidential candidate.
President Buhari also advised the Progressive Governors Forum to align with the party’s position and ensure that the upcoming presidential candidate selection convention reflects all of the party’s ideals and qualities.
The President said he recognised the pressing need to provide stronger leadership to the party during the transition process and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner during a meeting with the party’s leadership and governors elected on the APC platform.
He stated that consultations will take place in the days leading up to the national convention to ensure that all aspirants are included.
He stated that the APC’s focus would continue to be on the changing dynamics of the country’s political environment, citizens’ expectations, and the global community, while emphasising the importance of internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand for the party to achieve greater electoral fortunes.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, quoted the President telling the participants: “The processes for the 2023 General Elections have commenced in earnest and I note that the most successful political parties globally have always relied on their internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand to achieve bigger electoral fortunes. Our party, the APC, shall not be any different, more so as we are still implementing the blueprint for a more prosperous nation.”
The President has warned that in his final year in office, he will exert greater control over the ruling party to ensure that it remains strong and united in order to maintain power.
“As I enter the final year of my second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and head of the party, I acknowledge the pressing need for me to provide better leadership to the party during this transition process and ensure that it proceeds in a timely manner,” he said.
“Such leadership is required so that the party remains strong and united. It is also needed to improve our electoral fortunes by ensuring that it retains power at the centre, holds the great majority in various legislative chambers and also gain additional number of states.
“In a few days, the party will be holding its Convention during which primaries would take place to pick the Presidential Flag Bearer for the 2023 General Elections. This is a very significant process and its outcome should prove to the world, the positive quality of the APC regarding democratic principles, culture as well as leadership.”
The President appealed to all the Governors “to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community. Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections.”
While stating that the consultation process will continue to guarantee that all aspirants and stakeholders are brought on board until the convention, he also stated that it will ensure that any worry caused by various circumstances is adequately managed, “and that our party emerges stronger.”
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, spoke on behalf of the state governors, saying that the party must build on the successes of its recent elective convention and primaries so far, “and come up with a candidate who will walk in the footsteps of patriotism and love for the country, which Mr President has shown,” adding, “We will support Mr President to have a very successful convention.”
Meanwhile, it has been reported that President Buhari has suggested that the number of presidential aspirants participating in the party primaries be reduced to a reasonable level, with the National Chairman expressing the wish that the number of aspirants be reduced to four.