President Muhammadu Buhari was non-committal when asked if he had a ‘favourite’ candidate within his party to succeed him.
The president spoke in an interview with Channels Television, aired on Wednesday.
He said such a favoured person ‘may be eliminated’ if he mentions his name.
“No, I wouldn’t, because he may be eliminated if I mention. I better keep it secret,” Buhari said when asked if he had a favourite within the APC to succeed him.
Buhari will round off his second term in office next year and is not constitutionally eligible to contest again.
Some of those believed to be interested in succeeding Buhari within the APC is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and ex-Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu; although neither of them has publicly declared his interest to contest.
The reports that Osinbajo had, on New Year’s day, discussed his political ambition with the president, were dismissed by his media aide.
The spokesperson to the VP, Laolu Akande, reportedly told a news platform to disregard the speculation as his boss never met with Buhari as reported.
“If there is an update, I will ensure the media is made aware, please ignore the lies and many are going to still come,” Akande was reported to have said.
There are also speculations that the APC is wooing former President Goodluck Jonathan to run for president on its platform.
Jonathan, who was the presidential candidate of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 election, lost to Mr Buhari.
The former president is yet to speak on the speculations, though his media handlers have since dismissed the report.
With its national convention already slated for February, the ruling APC has remained hush on the zoning of its presidential ticket.
However, there are speculations that the ticket will be zoned to the south-west.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of Ahmed Bola Tinubu Support Group Management Council, Abdulmumuni Jibrin Kofa, has declared that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, will contest the 2023 Presidential elections.
Kofa described the possible rivals in the party, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, as jokers.
While speaking during an International Press Conference to start the New Year, Kofa said Tinubu’s presidential contest is a done deal.
“I have the full authority and mandate to today say that Tinubu will go for the Presidency in 2023.”
Kofa, who is also the Managing Director of, Federal Housing Authority, described the speculated ambitions of the Vice President, Osinbajo and Ekiti State governor, Fayemi as a huge joke, which is going nowhere, emphasising that Tinubu will certainly be in the Presidency in 2023.
Asserting that the Tinubu rivals within and outside the APC were jokers, Kofa said, “Bola Ahmed Tinubu has the pedigree to go for the Presidency, has an edge over any other persons, be it in APC or PDP contesting the Presidency and I bet you by the year 2023, you will see Tinubu in the Villa.
“Let me tell you. Any other person seeking for the Nigeria exalted seat, more specifically in the APC is a joker and a player. Forget the insinuations. Tinubu is the biggest and highest contender that would make it to the Presidency come 2023.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a full-blown Nigeria, somebody with a large heart, that will take everybody on board, and has the determination, zeal, courage and above all, he has the competence, going by what he has done in Lagos as governor for eight years.”
“Dark Horse” emerging from either PDP or APC in 2023 as he hinted that is not happening because contenders in both parties are coming out and soon, the space will be fully occupied.
Similarly, on Tinubu’s health to contest the Presidency, he insisted that the man in question is highly fit and alright to stand for the job.
“I can assure you that Tinubu is more than fit to contest the next general elections and even win.
“When you talk of his health, that is something that should not be a topic because it is not an issue for now.”
He advised the PDP and APC to allow full internal democracy among their members, warning that failure to do so would create serious implosion in the parties.
Kofa had at the end of last year organised a special prayer session for the success of Tinubu’s presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 general elections in the country.