The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors from the Northern Nigeria have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider selecting his successor from the Southern part of the country during the 2023 election.
The governors made their position know in a statement issued after their meeting with President Buhari on Saturday in Abuja, hours after his return from Spain.
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The statement was signed by Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina); Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger); Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa); Babagana Zulum (Borno); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe); Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and former Governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was absent from the meeting but gave his support for the decision.
The governors appealed to presidential aspirants from northern region to withdraw from the race for overall national interest and allow those from the south to proceed to the primaries slated June 6 and 8 2022.
Meanwhile, Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru has consequently, withdrawn from the presidential race and was commended by his colleagues for that.
According to the statement, the APC governors and political leaders from the north met to review the situation in the polity and chart a course on how to provide Progressive leadership through the ruling party in the midst of prevailing national challenges in the country.
The governors noted that they acknowledged the invitation by President Buhari for them to work towards the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC in the 2023 election.
Part of the statement reads, “After careful deliberation, we wish to state our firm conviction that after eight years in office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 elections should be one of our teeming members from the southern states of Nigeria.
“It is a question of honour for the APC, an obligation that is not in anyway affected by the decisions taken by another political party.
“We affirm that upholding this principle is in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country.
“We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states.
“We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries.
“We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
“The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms.
“This moment calls for the soberest and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.”