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Buhari To Take Final Decision on Successor As Govs Failed To Reach Consensus

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to take a final decision this weekend on the way forward as gov­ernors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to agree on a consensus presidential candidate ahead of the party’s national convention sched­uled for Monday, June 6 in Abuja.

The president, who is currently on a trip to Spain at a meeting with the 22 governors of the party and the national chairman, Abdullahi Ada­mu, on Monday, had demanded to be allowed to choose his successor as a sign of reciprocity.

According to him, while governors, who just served their first term were given the privilege of securing second term ticket, outgoing ones, after serving out their consti­tutional two terms of eight years, also had the privilege to choose their successors, he asked to be allowed to choose his successor.

As a way forward, the gov­ernors met twice on Tuesday and Wednesday but could not agree on who to recommend to the president for consideration as there is a sharp division among them on who to pres­ent as a consensus candidate.

With 14 governors in the North and eight in the South, the battle has been turned into a North and South bat­tle with governors from both regions refusing to shift ground.

Daily Independent gathered that APC governors loyal to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a front­line presidential aspirant of the ruling party, have rejected the idea of a Northern con­sensus candidate ahead of the presidential primary.

The pro-Tinubu governors are led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abdul­lahi Ganduje, Kano; Gboyega Oyetola, Osun; Babagana Zu­lum, Borno; and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

Credible presidency sourc­es had earlier informed Daily Independent that the presi­dent is desirous of having his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, succeed him even though he was yet to formally announce his choice.

However, some power bro­kers in the ruling party who felt that no Southern candi­date can match Atiku Abu­bakar, who has emerged as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are pushing for a North­ern candidate to split the votes from the North.

They are, therefore, propos­ing Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Jigawa State Gov­ernor, Abubakar Badaru.

Sources in the party in­formed Daily Independent that the governors loyal to Tinubu had vehemently kicked against the propos­al for a Northern presiden­tial candidate, saying if the party insists on a con­sensus candidate, it must be the former Lagos State governor.

“The meeting of the gover­nors at the Asokoro residence of the Chairman of Progres­sive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, held yesterday ended in a deadlock as they failed to reach a consensus.

“Tinubu’s loyalists are of the view that President Bu­hari has the right to choose his preferred aspirant but he should allow a primary where other aspirants can test their popularity. Nobody should be asked to step down against their wish.

“They are also of the view that if the party insists on fielding a consensus candi­date, then that candidate must be Tinubu as he is the only one with the clout to defeat a strong politician like Atiku.

“They also faulted the claim by some of their colleagues that no Southerner can defeat Atiku, saying Tinubu enjoys the same popularity as the late MKO Abiola who defeated the late Bashir Tofa in his home state of Kano and won the an­nulled June 12, 1993, presiden­tial election”.
Given the stalemate, Presi­dent Buhari who is expected to return to Nigeria from his trip to Madrid, Spain, is expected to chart the way forward and present his candidate to the party ahead of the convention.


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