2023: Northern APC governors recommend southern president to succeed Buhari
Ten northern governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday insisted that the spirt of fairness and national interest must prevail in the choice of Nigeria’s next president in 2023.
In a statement signed by all of them, they urged all the aspirants for the presidential ticket of the party from the North to pull out of the race.
The governors are Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Abdullahi A. Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Umara Zulum (Borno), Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe).
Others are Bello M. Matawalle (Zamfara), Simon Bako Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and a former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
The governors, who rose from an emergency meeting, said that after Buhari’s tenure, the southern part of the country should take over the mantle of leadership.
Their signed statement reads:
“After a 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, an obligation that is not in any way 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 progressive country.
“We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President 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 northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the South to proceed to the primary.
“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 fulfill their responsibility in this regard.”
Southern govs welcome development
Responding to the decision, the chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, welcomed the decision of the northern governors, describing it as heart-warming.
“We did not expect anything short of this heart-warming decision from our colleagues, great patriots and reliable partners in the collaborative efforts towards the attainment of nationhood for our dear country. This is indeed another landmark achievement in our quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagement for mutual beneficence.
“We acknowledge this courageous stance for equity and moral rectitude. We applaud the zeal and determination of our brothers to engage realistically and honestly. We salute this uncommon resolve to confront issues militating against the march towards nationhood and ultimate greatness.
“By this gesture, we are convinced of the seriousness of our colleagues to join other patriots in ensuring that the march towards stability, progress and prosperity is not truncated by indiscretion.”
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