…As 13 Northern Governors insist on Southern presidency
…NWC disowns Adamu, backs Northern governors’ resolution
President, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday denied the imposition of Ahmed Lawan on the party as the presidential consensus candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had earlier announced Lawan as the consensus candidate ahead of the presidential primary election of the party.
But in clearing the air, the president said that he had “no preferred candidate,” and had “anointed no one,” and was determined to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
The stand of the president was contained in statement signed by the Senior special assistant to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu yesterday.
According to the statement, the 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.”
13 Northern Governors insist on Southern decision
Also, the Northern Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have insisted on zoning the presidential candidate’s slot to the South, thereby outrightly rejecting the choice of Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party.
In a meeting on Monday with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Northern Governors reaffirmed their stand that power should rotate to the Southern part of the country in 2023.
The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, briefed State House reporters after the meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said the 13 of them apologised to the president for receiving the information about their position after it was leaked.
The Governor, however, said that they took the decision in the interest of justice and peace in the country.
Lalong, who stated that they would hold another meeting by 5p.m. today among themselves, said the president agreed with their position and maintained that the presidential candidate must emerge through a transparent process.
He said President Buhari told them he did not have an anointed candidate for now and directed them to meet the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to agree on the succession plan.
In the absence of the Governor of Kogi State at the meeting where the power shift decision was taken, he said his colleague was not part of the agreement as his signature was not on the statement.
In his contribution, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said it was the democratic right of the Kogi governor to excuse himself.
NWC disowns Adamu, backs Northern Governors’ decision
Similarly, the members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have denied endorsing Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party ahead of the party’s presidential primary.
While addressing journalist at the party’s secretariat after the NWC meeting, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Suleiman Argungun, however, stated that the issue of picking a consensus presidential candidate was not discussed at the meeting.
According to Argungun, Adamu only gave them the information, but they are yet to discuss it.
He further affirmed that the NWC were totally in support of the decisions of the Northern Governors to zone the presidency to Southern part of the Country.