BREAKING: Northern APC Govs Block Buhari’s Plan To Cherry-Pick Successor, Back Zoning To South

Northern governors elected on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform have blocked President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to cherry-pick the party’s 2023 presidential flagbearer.

President Buhari had at a recent meeting with governors of the APC charged them to support his decision to pick his successor ahead of the party’s National Convention scheduled for the coming week.

The president had asked the governors to grant his request in “reciprocity” of similar gestures accorded to them in the past to nominate successors they feel “are capable of driving their visions as well as the ideals of the party” in their respective states.

But about three days to the APC presidential primary, 11 serving and former governors of the party have gone against President Buhari’s request to be allowed to single-handedly decide who emerges as the party’s candidate.

The governors and party chieftains issued a communique at the end of a meeting in Abuja, backing the zoning of the presidency to the southern region against speculations that the president may endorse a northerner as his successor.

The communique reads: “APC governors and political leaders from the northern states of Nigeria today met to review the political situation and to further support our party in providing progressive leadership amidst our national challenges.

“During our discussions, we welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation to governors and other stakeholders to contribute to the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.

“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 most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.”

The communique was signed by Governors Nasir el-Rufai, Aminu Bello Masari, Simon Lalong, Abdullahi Ganduje, Muhammed Inuwa Yahaya, Bello Matawalle and Abubakar Sani Bello, amongst others.

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