Ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential primary slated for June 6-8, President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) to support him in choosing his successor capable of driving his vision and ideals of the party.
Buhari made this plea in a speech he delivered at a meeting behind closed doors with the 22 APC governors, the party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and other government officials, yesterday at the Presidential Villa.
The President, who urged the governors to ensure the emergence of a presidential candidate that would reflect all the party’s values and virtues, also vowed to provide a stronger leadership that would improve the electoral fortunes of the APC at the forthcoming general election.
He said: “The transition processes for the 2023 General Election have commenced in earnest and I note that the most successful political parties globally have always relied on their internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand to achieve bigger electoral fortunes. Our party, the APC, shall not be any different, more so as we are still implementing the blueprint for a more prosperous nation.
“As I begin the final year of my second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of the party, I recognise the compelling need for me to provide stronger leadership to the party under this transition process and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.
“Such leadership is required so that the party remains strong and united. It is also needed to improve our electoral fortunes by ensuring that it retains power at the centre, hold the great majority in various legislative chambers and also gain an additional number of states at state levels.
“In pursuit of the foregoing objectives, 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 a few days, the party will be holding its Convention during which primaries would take place to pick the Presidential Flag Bearer for the 2023 General Elections. This is a very significant process and its outcome should prove to the world the positive quality of the APC regarding democratic principles, culture as well as leadership.
“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 candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections.
“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.”
According to a release by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, the PGF Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu said the party must build on successes of its recent elective convention, and the primaries conducted so far, “and come up with a candidate who will walk in the footsteps of patriotism and love for the country, which Mr President has shown.”
He pledged that the governors would support the President to have a successful convention.