President Muhammadu Buhari has told governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that he needs their support in choosing his successor.
The ruling party has fixed its presidential primaries for June 6, 7 and 8.
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Ahead of the exercise, the president hosted governors elected on the platform of the ruling party at Aso Rock.
National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, attended the meeting which held at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Buhari, who charged the governors to ensure that the forthcoming convention to pick a presidential candidate reflects all the values and virtues of the party, urged them “to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community. Our objective must be the victory of our party.”
He assured that the consultation process will continue, to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders would be brought on board right through to the convention.
Buhari stressed that the consultation would also ensure that any anxiety occasioned by different factors were “effectively” brought under control, “and that our party emerges stronger.”
The President promised to provide the stronger leadership to the party to ensure that the party not only remained strong and united but also retained power at the center, held the great majority in various legislative chambers and gained additional number of states.
He said: “The processes for the 2023 General Elections have commenced in earnest and I note that the most successful political parties globally have always relied on their internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand to achieve bigger electoral fortunes. Our party, the APC, shall not be any different, more so as we are still implementing the blueprint for a more prosperous nation.
“As I begin the final year of my second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of the party, I recognize the compelling need for me to provide stronger leadership to the party under this transition process and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.
“Such leadership is required so that the party remains strong and united. It is also needed to improve our electoral fortunes by ensuring that it retains power at the center, hold the great majority in various legislative chambers and also gain additional number of states.
“In keeping with the established internal policies of the party and as we approach the convention in a few days, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party.
“In a few days, the party will be holding its Convention during which primaries would take place to pick the Presidential Flag Bearer for the 2023 General Elections. This is a very significant process and its outcome should prove to the world, the positive quality of the APC regarding democratic principles, culture as well as leadership.”
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, said the party must build on successes of its recent elective convention, and the primaries conducted so far, “ and come up with a candidate who will walk in the footsteps of patriotism and love for the country, which Mr President has shown.”
“We will support Mr President to have a very successful convention,” he promised in a statement issued by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and all the APC governors with exception of Kaduna who was represented by his deputy, Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.
While the governors of Imo, Hope Uzodinma, Ogun, Dapo Abiodun and Kano, Abdulahi Ganduje, were seen discussing with Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, outside the council chambers, the rest took their leave immediately after the meeting.