CHAIRMAN of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has insisted on the emergence of a Southerner as presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general elections.
Akeredolu spoke in a statement posted on his official Facebook page on Thursday.
He re-echoed the position of his colleagues in the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum that power should be rotated to the South.
According to him, in order to retain power, the APC must rotate the presidency to the South.
“APC must work to retain power. We must rotate power to retain power !!! Rotate to the South. Shikena,” he said.
There are no indications yet that the party would zone the presidential ticket to the South, especially after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Shortly before he left the country for Spain last week, President Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting pleaded with the party’s governors to accord him the right to choose his successor.
Buhari said his choice of candidate “must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections”.
Buhari assured the governors that the consultation process will continue, to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders would be brought on board right through to the convention.
He stressed that it would also ensure that any anxiety occasioned by different factors are effectively brought under control “fo the party to emerge stronger”.
Although, it was not immediately clear whether or not he would impose a consensus candidate or back a favourite into a free and fair primary, the president’s request has continued to generate a lot of reactions among APC presidential candidates and members.
Former Lagos State Governor Ahmed Tinubu, who also one of the aspirants has insisted on primaries that would guarantee a broader acceptance of the individual to be elected, saying any discussions of consensus could plunge the party into chaos.