By Usman Gwadabe
President Muhammadu Buhari has cleared all doubts about where he stands on the choice of a presidential candidate for the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, declaring before the party’s 14 governors of Northern states that he has “no preferred candidate,” and has “anointed no one,” and is determined to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
Speaking at a meeting with the Governors at the State House today, President Buhari said the party is important and its membership must be respected, and must be made to feel they are important.
The President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way.
A statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity to the president, quoted him saying: “You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The Party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody.”
Earlier In their addresses, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of the Progressive Governors said they had come to affirm the position of the Northern Governors that the party’s candidate in the presidential election shall come from the Southern part of the country.
They affirmed that the position was not because there were no qualified candidates from the North.
They apologised to the President for the leakage of their signed memorandum which was not in support of any particular candidate and gave their assurance to the President on their readiness to accept his leadership on the matter.