By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, yesterday hinted that the progressive Governor are looking towards having a consensus presidential candidate during its primaries, even though he said there must be some position that would be contested as a democratic party.
Speaking to journàlists after a brief closed door meeting with former Lagos Governor and a national leader of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Bagudu said “We always encourage our party to go for the best.
“Don’t forget that in the 2015 presidential election primary, President Buhari contested against several others and it was a beautiful contest. There is nothing wrong. Members of the party always want to see consensus if it is possible but we are a democratic party.
“In our last convention, we had consensus in some of the offices and election in some others. There is always misrepresentation of consensus as if people are being snowballed into positions they would rather not take.
“APC has done well as a party, President Buhari has led the party ably well and we believe strongly that come 2023, Nigerians will see another President of the APC extraction”.
Speaking further, he dismissed the insinuations that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Ahmed Tinubu contesting for the same post is putting the governors under a tight corner.
He said “No, no, no. In fact, on the contrary, we appreciate our party because it has become a party that has endeared itself to Nigerians. We have many brilliant people in our party, some serving and some not serving. The fact that we have people in our party that express desire to lead the party into the highest office in an electoral contest shows how much this our party has resonated with Nigerians and our party members.
“For us, it is a hallmark of success that people are showing interest, but at the end of the day and because they are leaders of the party, they will always put the party’s interest at heart.”
However, he said Tinubu met APC Governors to restate what he had made public, which is his decision to contest for the President in 2023.
“He briefed us on his reasons, his thinking and his message. All the governors in attendance graciously came to listen to him. He acknowledged the role of the Governors in the last convention of our party, where, according to him, the governors of the party steadied the party by helping in the evolution of the leadership that is accepted and widely acknowledged as that which we wish for our party.
“We appreciated him, his message and will definitely discuss the message at one of our forum meetings”, Bagudu said.
Meanwhile, hours after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declared to contest the 2023 President against his acclaimed benefactor and godfather, Tinubu has disowned him, saying he is not his political son as people claim.
Responding to a question on how he feels about his political son declaring for President after he had done so, Tinubu said “I don’t have any son grown up enough to make such a declaration.”
On his mission to the APC Governors, the APC leader said “My mission here is to seek collaboration, support and encouragement of my party, the APC, for my ambition to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as replacement for President Muhammadu Buhari after his tenure.”