The Northern rulers of the All Progressives Congress, on Monday in Abuja, said they stood by their decision to design a ticket for the party’s southern president.
The governors made the announcement shortly after meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (back), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Auntyamebo blog reports that after their meeting on Saturday night, the Northern rulers asked the ruling party to cancel its presidential ticket to the south.
They also asked those who wanted to come from the northern region to withdraw. These include his Kogi regional counterpart, Governor Yahaya Bello, who is also campaigning for the party’s Presidential ticket.
According to a statement signed after the meeting, the governors said, “After careful consultation, we wish to express our strong conviction that after eight years in the office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential election in the 2023 elections should be one of our full-fledged members from southern Nigeria.
“It is a question of respect for the APC, an obligation not to be affected in any way by the decisions taken by another political party.”
Speaking on behalf of the governors, Simon Lalong of Plateau State lamented that the report of the meeting had been leaked to the public before formally informing the President of their decision.
He noted, however, that the authorities should inform the President in person as part of the last-minute preparations for the next general election.
Asked why his Kogi regional counterpart, Bello, was absent from the meeting, frustrated governor El-Rufai (of Kaduna) said it was not compulsory for all 14 to agree on a southern ticket.
According to him, Bello resigned from the meeting with the President because he rejected the decision taken by the authorities.
El-Rufai disputed that 13 of the 14 essays were sufficient to advance the agenda of the southern candidate.
This will be the fourth in a series of meetings between the President and party stakeholders ahead of tomorrow’s presidential election in Eagle Square, Abuja.
Attendees included Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Abubakar Bello of Niger, Yahaya Inuwa. Zulu from Borno, Nasir El-Rufai from Kaduna and AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq from Kwara.
Details soon …