President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, explained why he was neutral and allowed delegates to vote for their preferred presidential candidate during the All Progressives Congress’ special convention and presidential primary.
Buhari spoke in Katsina on what transpired during the buildup to the APC convention when he paid a Sallah visit to the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumin Usman Kabir, at his palace.
Buhari, who also spoke on what happened before the emergence of the party’s flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, said that the delegates were given a free hand to elect him (Tinubu) in demonstrating the internal democracy in the party.
He said “party leaders initially gave me a list of thirty presidential aspirants, out of which I was asked to pick a candidate of my choice.”
Buhari said rather than pick or anoint a candidate, he gave the delegates to choose the candidate of their choice, resulting in the emergence of Tinubu.
Speaking in Hausa, Buhari said, “I was given a list of thirty (30) aspirants to pick from. Most of them were my ministers and governors. So, who will I choose or support?
“One of the governors even came to see me and asked who are we to choose.
“If I do that, it would affect my Vice President because he was listening to our conversation. I then told them to choose who they want.
“So, they elected Tinubu as APC presidential candidate.”
He added, “I hope the forthcoming (2023) general elections would also be peaceful just like the way APC conducted its congress where they elected the party’s National Chairman, the presidential candidate and how the presidential candidate picked his running mate.
“I hope God will help us to conduct the general elections peacefully.”
But Buhari appealed to Nigerians to allow peace to reign during the 2023 general elections.
President stressed that his government was doing its best in tackling insecurity.
“May God gives us the wisdom to serve people more,” he declared.
Welcoming the President to his palace, the Emir of Katsina urged Buhari to expedite action on the Kano/ Katsina highway; the Kano/ Katsina/ Maradi railway and the Rimi Windmill Power generation project.
The Emir said apart from contributing to the development of Katsina State, the projects would also create employment for residents.
Governor Aminu Masari, in his remarks also said security operatives were doing all they could to tackle banditry and other crimes in the state.
Masari urged residents to also give the security operatives the necessary support.
He later saw the President off to the Umaru Musa Yar’dua Airport, where he later took off for Abuja in a Nigeria Air Force Aircraft.