With just few weeks to the presidential primary election of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), leaders of the party are still at a loss as to who President Muhammadu Buhari will endorse as his anointed candidate.
The president, in an interview early this year had admitted to having a favourite candidate among presidential aspirants jostling to succeed him in the APC.
He, however, declined to mention the name of the aspirant for fear of being eliminated. According to him: “I don’t have problem with 2023 elections.
Let anybody elected come in, but nobody should call me to come and give evidence.”
When asked if he has a favourite candidate to succeed him, President Buhari initially said “no”, but when prodded further, he said, “Yes, I have a favourite candidate, but I would not mention his name, he may be eliminated.” Since the president’s interview, several aspirants have publicly declared their interest to run on the platform of the APC.
They include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello. Others are Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; Rochas Okorocha, former Imo State governor and Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia State governor. Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is also rumoured to be interested in running on the platform of the APC but he is yet to open up on whether he will also join the race.
BLOGARENA learnt that outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi and former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, will also announce their desire to run for the presidency on the platform of APC in few days’ time.
When asked who among the aspirants is President Buhari’s anointed candidate? A presidency source said nobody in the party knows as he (Buhari) is still keeping it close to his chest.
According to him, what played out during the party’s national convention may occur again when President Buhari endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu as his preferred candidate for national chairmanship position few days to the exercise.
“To be sincere, nobody knows who the president’s anointed candidate is. But I expected that what played out at the last national convention may still happen.
If you recall, all the chairmanship aspirants have been going about campaigning and getting endorsements but eventually, the president settled for Senator Adamu who he strongly believes has the capacity to consolidate on the gains recorded by the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee”.
When asked why Buhari keeps giving his blessings to all the aspirants without any reservation, our source said not doing so would have plunged the party into more crisis as the rejected aspirants and their supporters would have accused him of being undemocratic.
“As the father and leader of the party, that is what is expected of the president whenever any of the aspirants come to him to notify him of their intention to contest and seek his blessings.
“The best he can do is to tell them he has heard and they should go ahead. Imagine if he tells any of the aspirants that he is not supporting him and that one comes out to say that, people will accuse him of being undemocratic and that may plunge the party into further crisis.
“From the looks of things, more aspirants might still come out to contest and as usual, the president will still give his blessings to them to go ahead.
“When the time comes, he will surely inform those concerned about the direction he is going”, he said.