Chairman of Nigeria’s Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, on Monday said the All Progressive Congress (APC) does not rule out the possibility of a consensus candidate among its Presidential aspirants.
“We always encourage our party to go for the best. Don’t forget that in the 2015 presidential election primary, President Buhari contested along with several others and it was a beauty 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.”
Bagudu spoke after former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, a Presidential aspirant, met with APC Governors behind closed doors at the Kebbi Lodge, Abuja, hours after the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo formally declared his interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Governors at the meeting with Tinubu included Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) Umaru Ganduje (Kano), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).
Others were Abudlrazaq Abdulrahman (Kwara), Hope Uzondinma (Imo), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa) and Isiaka Oyetola (Osun).
Asides from Tinubu and Osinbajo, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, former Governors Orji Uzor Kalu and Rochas Okorocha, and serving governors of Kogi and Ebonyi states, Yahaya Bello and Dave Umahi are also seeking the ruling party’s ticket.
Bagudu explained that the race for the Presidential ticket among the aspirants is a positive one for the party.
“In fact, in 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 the 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.
Tinubu had told journalists that his meeting with the governors was to solicit their support for his ambition to be elected Nigeria president in 2023.