Produce a consensus candidate before the primary - Buhari charges aspirants

Buhari said the number of aspirants should be pruned down before the primary.

Breaking: Buhari endorses southern candidate for presidency. (ChannelsTV)

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to work on producing a consensus candidate ahead of the primary.

According to a statement signed by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina, Buhari said this at a dinner with with the aspirants at the State House, Abuja on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

“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,” Buhari told the aspirants.

Adesina’s statement also quoted the president as saying that the meeting was the second of a series of consultations with party stakeholders in a bid to sustain the party’s unity and cohesion ahead of the all important primary.

He said, “This is the second in the series and I still look forward to meeting with party stakeholders. These steps are being taken to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party are sustained and to provide direction.”

Given these circumstances,” he said, “I charge you to recognize the importance of the stability and unity of the party, which cannot be overemphasized.

“Similarly, 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.”

Buhari's advise followed the decision of Northern governors elected on the platform of APC, who had asked him to pick a southerner as his successor.

The governors said this in a statement released after a meeting on Saturday.

They appealed to northern aspirants contesting for the APC presidential ticket to withdraw from the race in national interest.

The statement indicated that Jigawa state Governor, Abubakar Badaru, has opted out of the race “to contribute to this patriotic quest”.

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