President Muhammadu Buhari will in the coming days meet with all aspirants who are seeking to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
A presidency source, who disclosed this on Monday, said the president, who is the leader of the party, will meet with the aspirants “most likely after the national convention when it is expected that all those who are intending to run on the party’s platform would have indicated interest”.
Among those who have declared their interest to run are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and APC national leader; Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and former Imo State governor, and now senator, Rochas Okorocha.
Among those who are rumoured to be seeking to contest on APC platform but are yet to declare are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; Governor Yahaya Bello and Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia State governor.
President Buhari in a recent interview said even if he has a preferred candidate, he will not reveal his identity for safety reasons.
When asked how the ruling party will seek to manage the deluge of presidential aspirants without a crisis, our source said the president will soon meet with all those seeking to contest the presidential election before the primary.
He also commended the president for not revealing the identity of his preferred aspirant, saying doing so would have dampened the morale of other aspirants.
“Yes, it is a major concern but we will cross the bridge when we get there. Our major concern now is to conduct a hitch-free national convention where the next set of party executives will emerge.
“One thing I’m certain about is that President Buhari will meet with all the presidential aspirants. He is the father of the party and as a father, if your children are fighting over something, there is a way you talk to them and guide them so that it won’t degenerate into a battle.
“I must, however, commend the president for the maturity he displayed by not revealing the identity of his preferred candidate. Doing so would have led to more crisis in the party and discourage other aspirants. The president can only support one aspirant and he only has one vote on election day. But it is better he has kept it to himself until now”, he said.