President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, directed Presidential Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to work produce among themselves a formidable consensus candidate ahead of the party’s presidential primary scheduled for Monday.
The president gave advice when he hosted them at the presidential villa in Abuja on Saturday night.
Buhari urged the presidential aspirants that before the ruling party’s primary election holding between June 6 and 8, 2022, they should all meet and agree on a consensus candidate.
He said the APC must elect a formidable candidate as its standard bearer in the 2023 elections.
The President said, “I wish to remind you that our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges.”
“Ahead of the Convention, the party machinery has screened and found all aspirants eminently qualified. Recognizing this fact, the Screening Committee has, amongst others, recommended that consensus building through consultation, be intensified.
“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”
He also assured that in the interest of the Nigerian nation and the ruling APC, he would continue to provide effective leadership during the transition period, “until we successfully make the choice on the candidate that will fly the flag of our party for the presidential elections and make the party stronger. I seek your support in this all important responsibility.”
APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had earlier promised that efforts would be made to reach all stakeholders of the party in the consultation process.
In their responses on behalf of the aspirants, former Governor of old Abia State and immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, and Vice President, ‘Yemi Osinbajo, thanked the President for his leadership and guidance.
They pledged that they would hold the consultations as advised by the President “for the unity and strength of our party, the APC.”