Buhari to meet APC presidential aspirants, reveal preferred candidate Sunday

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, is expected to meet ruling All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants latest Sunday.

The president was said to be planning a trip to Ghana today (Saturday), without resolving the consensus crisis rocking the party.

A top government official told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity that the President would return to the country later in the day.

Nevertheless, the President, who returned from Spain on Friday afternoon, is expected to meet with the aspirants on Saturday night or Sunday.

“The President is expected to travel to Ghana tomorrow (today). After that, he is expected to meet with the aspirants and thereafter reveal his preferred candidate for the party’s ticket,” the source added.

The PUNCH had reported that Buhari met with the governors of the All Progressives Congress on Tuesday ahead of the party’s convention.

The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the outcome of the meeting known in a statement titled, ‘We must show positive qualities of APC at our convention, President Buhari charges governors

During the meeting held at State House, Abuja, Buhari told the governors that decisions that would enable the party to retain power at the centre should be taken.

The meeting came amid speculations that the president may anoint an aspirant before the convention.

Apart from former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, other aspirants are the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

Serving governors who are also aspiring to be president are Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa).

Others are former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, and serving senators Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Boroffice, and Rochas Okorocha.

President Buhari’s running mate in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, Nicholas Felix, Ahmad Rufai Sani, Tein Jack-Rich, Ikeobasi Mokelu are also expected to face the party’s presidential screening panel.

He also charged the governors to ensure that the forthcoming convention to pick a presidential candidate reflects all the values and virtues of the party.

Buhari assured the governors that the consultation process will continue, to ensure that all aspirants and stakeholders would be brought on board right through to the convention, stressing that it would also ensure that any anxiety occasioned by different factors are effectively brought under control, “and that our party emerges stronger.”

Speaking on behalf of the state’s helmsmen, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum was quoted to say the party must build on successes of its recent elective convention, and the primaries conducted so far.

He also urged the party to “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.”

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