Buhari backs governors on power shift, denies endorsing any candidate

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claim that he has anointed one of the 23 contenders for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC as his favourite ahead of the primary elections of the party scheduled to hold tomorrow, Tuesday, 7 June.

In the same vein, the President also said he agreed with the position of northern governors that power should be shifted to the southern part of the country in 2023.

This was the outcome of meeting of Northern Governors with President Buhari at the presidential Villa on Monday as revealed to journalists by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State.

Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and governor of Plateau State told journalists that the President was unequivocal that he has no anointed candidate in the presidential primary.

The clarification came amidst claims by the chairman of APC, Abdullahi Adamu that the President has endorsed Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the consensus candidate of APC ahead of the primary.

Adamu, according to reports, told members of the National Working Committee of APC that though other candidates will be allowed to contest for the presidential ticket at the primary, Lawan has been anointed as the consensus candidate of the party by the President.

But Lalong described the claim as untrue in his briefing with journalists.

The Plateau State Governor said, “Out of that discussions, Mr. President, as a believer in democratic process, believe that any candidate must emerge through a transparent process.

“Mr. President told us that for this election, for now, he has no anointed candidate and therefore directed that the Progressive Governors Forum meet with the National Working Committee of the party to agree and proffer further solutions and recommendations for his own succession.”

Lalong added that the President Buhari directed the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, to meet with the National Working Commuttee, NWC for more consultations on the consensus arrangement in the choice of the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.

He added that the President has requested the governors to have a meeting with the APC NWC to resolve the issue of consensus candidate through democratic means.

He added that the meeting with the NWC has been slated for 5pm Monday.

“I am sure this will may be the last of consultations. So we are directed that after this, our chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum has also summoned a meeting for five o’clock today and after that meeting, will make again further suggestions to Mr. President.”