Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, met with all presidential hopefuls on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the State House in Abuja, on Saturday night, asking them to have talks and come up with a strong consensus candidate before the party’s primary election on June 6-8, 2022. ayokinews.com reports
A statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated that the meeting was a continuation of the ongoing consultation process aimed at assuring a smooth and strategic emergence of a flag bearer who will lead the APC to a resounding victory in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
“Looking at this assemblage of personalities and considering your rich pedigree of accomplishments in life, I have come to the conclusion that our party, the APC, is rich in human resources and also that our nation is blessed with capable people that can successfully steer the ship of state into the future,” President Buhari said.
“I must salute your courage and your selfless spirit, in volunteering to serve in the highest office of the land,” Buhari continued, citing his first-hand understanding of the responsibilities of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the expectations of the citizens.
“Our party, the APC, has won two successive presidential elections in 2015, first when we were in the opposition and in 2019 when I sought re-election. Both processes were achieved through unity of purpose, strategic alignment, consultation, fairness, determination and effective leadership. In both instances, national and party interests were overriding factors in our deliberations and decision-making,” he added.
“The 2023 General Elections are fast approaching in a global, regional and national environment that is constantly changing and challenging. This demands that our party should become more aware of the changing environment, be responsive to the yearnings of our citizens, re-evaluate our strategy and strengthen our internal mechanism so that we would sustain the electoral successes.
“I am pleased to note that the party, recognizing the significance of all these demands, has over time developed several democratically acceptable processes and policies, that promote consultation, internal cohesion and leadership to facilitate victories at the polls.”
Buhari recalled the consultation he had held with stakeholders “that would help the electoral fortunes of our party, beginning with the State Governors. 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.
“Amongst others things, I reminded the APC Governors of the need for the party to proceed to the 2023 Presidential elections with strength, unity of purpose and to present a flag bearer who will give Nigerians a sense of hope and confidence, while ensuring victory for our party. I extend a similar reminder to all of you distinguished aspirants.”
President Buhari stated that the APC would have its national convention on Monday, June 6, 2022, during which delegates will choose one candidate to represent the party in the 2023 presidential election, while acknowledging his awareness of party members being concerned about the result of the process.
“Given these circumstances, 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.”
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