TUNDE Bakare, one of the 23 aspirants screened by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the party’s primary, has said he remained in the race.
But Bakare said he would be willing to step down for other aspirants if President Muhammadu Buhari or the ruling party urged him to do so.
The aspirant said at the party’s ongoing special convention in Abuja to elect its candidate for the 2023 presidential election that nobody had contacted him to step down.
Bakare, the general overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, and running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011 on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has been a leading voice in socio-political issues in Nigeria.
He said he remained in the race despite having four rivals for the APC ticket from Ogun State, where he hails from.
“Every man of vision and conviction will see his conviction to a logical conclusion. The reason you bought the form is that you wanted to contest. Let the delegates judge. The more, the merrier,” he said.
He added that nobody initiated a consensus candidature with him.
“They invited us to a meeting, and we generally spoke that we should be fair to each other and not abuse one another. Nobody has asked me to step down for anybody.
“If the president or the party says ‘step down in the party’s best interest’, the party’s supremacy is sacrosanct,” he said.
Bakare, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former Speaker Dimeji Bankole and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, all from Ogun State, are aspiring for the presidency.
Except the party officially prunes the number of aspirants, Bakare may contest against those from the state, the party’s national leader Bola Tinubu, and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who are vying for the office from the South-West.
Former ministers, Rotimi Amaechi and Godswill Akpabio, may lead the aspirants from the South-South, while Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi; and former ministers, Emeka Uwajiuba and Ogbonnaya Onu, are the front runners for the office in the South-East.