Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have begun the search for a consensus presidential candidate, The PUNCH has learnt.
A source privy to the first meeting of the governors told our correspondent that the meeting ended in a deadlock.
“No agreement yet. Meeting has been postponed to later this week,” the source told The PUNCH on Wednesday.
Asked what transpired during the meeting, the politician said, “The governors are still divided on the matter. Many things are being considered, including capability, region and religion.”
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had asked the Progressive Governors to search for the right successor at a meeting in Aso Rock on Tuesday.
Buhari also informed the governors that he would be seeking reciprocity ahead of the presidential primary which comes up in the next six days.
He told the governors, “The party has successfully established internal policies that promote continuity and smooth succession plans even at the state and local government levels.
“For example, first-term governors who have served credibly well have been encouraged to stand for re-election. Similarly, second-term governors have been accorded the privilege of promoting successors that are capable of driving their visions as well as the ideals of the party.
“In keeping with the established internal policies of the party and as we approach the convention in a few days, therefore, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“As we approach the convention, I appeal to all of you to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community.
“Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of a candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections.”
Those vying for the APC’s presidential ticket include the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
Others vying for the party’s presidential ticket are a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; a former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha and former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
They also include Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade; his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi, an ex-Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Jigawa State governor, Mohammed Badaru and former Zamfara State governor, Senator Ahmed Yerima.
Also on the list are Senator Ajayi Borroffice; the only female aspirant, B. Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, Pastor Nicholas Felix Nwagbo; former Speaker of Representative, Dimeji Bankole; President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawal; former Minister of Information, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu and Mr Tein Jack Rich