As the All Progressives Congress (APC) concludes the screening of the 23 presidential aspirants this evening, it has emerged that President Mohammadu Buhari, APC governors and very top leadership of the party have resolved to field a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
The emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the standard bearer of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP, we reliably gathered had thrown spanners in the works for earlier consideration of a Southern candidate especially that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not in the calculation of the governing All Progressives Congress.
The decision to field a northern candidate, our source disclosed, was reached at a meeting of the governors of the APC held on Tuesday at the Kebbi State governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.
The governors did not just agree to field a northern candidate, they equally narrowed their search to possible first choice Sani Ahmed Yerima, former governor of Zamfara State with Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan coming a distant second in the pecking order.
The reasoning we heard is that Atiku Abubakar is such a formidable political opponent that it may require only characters like Buhari to halt his ascent on the throne in 2023. As learnt from a chieftain of APC, the governors recall that Buhari narrowly defeated Atiku with a paltry 1.5 million votes in 2019, noting that with the Buhari era fading away, it will be difficult for a Southern candidate to square with Atiku without the party receiving bruises.
“The APC governors we also learnt did a thorough review of the strength and weakness of the all four presidential aspirants from the north, and narrowed their choice to Senator Yerima,” the source added.
The meeting which also had in attendance governors from Southeast, and Southwest was said to have placed premium on retaining their hold on power rather that to pacify any of the political zone.
Meanwhile, the final day of the presidential Screening Exercise witnessed the appearance of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Godswill Akpabio, Abubakar Badaru, Senator Ahmed Lawan, Ben Ayade,Kayode Fayemi, Yahaya Bello, Ike Obasi Mokelu, Ogbonnaya Onu among others.