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Consult, build consensus and come up with a strong candidate, Buhari urges APC presidential aspirants

Abuja—President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to hold consultations and come up with a formidable candidate before the party holds its primary election between June 6-8, 2022.

The President was quoted to have made the charge in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina during a meeting on Saturday night with all the presidential aspirants on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), at State House, Abuja.

The meeting was said to be a continuation of the ongoing consultative process aimed at ensuring a smooth and strategic emergence of a standard bearer, who will lead the APC to a victory in the upcoming presidential polls.

The president noted that the APC is not short of capable personalities who could succeed him as president in leading the country into the future.

He however stressed the importance and the part, consultation, fairness, internal cohesion, unity, and party interest played in the success of the Party in previous elections and urged party faithful to replicate such virtues to stand a chance to win the 2023 presidential election.

He further urged the presidential aspirants to hold consultations amongst themselves and with the party to reach a consensus to remain a united and strong party going into the 2023 General elections.

He said, “Looking at this assemblage of personalities and considering your rich pedigree of accomplishments in life, I have come to the conclusion that our party, the APC, is rich in human resources and also that our nation is blessed with capable people that can successfully steer the ship of state into the future.

“I must salute your courage and your selfless spirit, in volunteering to serve in the highest office of the land.”

The President added: “Our party, the APC, has won two successive presidential elections in 2015, first when we were in the opposition and 2019 when I sought re-election.

“Both processes were achieved through unity of purpose, strategic alignment, consultation, fairness, determination, and effective leadership. In both instances, national and party interests were overriding factors in our deliberations and decision-making.

“The 2023 General Elections are fast approaching in a global, regional and national environment that is constantly changing and challenging.

“This demands that our party should become more aware of the changing environment, be responsive to the yearnings of our citizens, re-evaluate our strategy and strengthen our internal mechanism so that we would sustain the electoral successes.

“I am pleased to note that the party, recognizing the significance of all these demands, has over time developed several democratically acceptable processes and policies, that promote consultation, internal cohesion, and leadership to facilitate victories at the polls.”

“I recall the consultation I with stakeholders that would help the electoral fortunes of our party, beginning with the State Governors. This is the second in the series and I still look forward to meeting with party stakeholders. These steps are being taken to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party are sustained and to provide direction.

“Amongst other things, I reminded the APC Governors of the need for the party to proceed to the 2023 Presidential elections with strength, unity of purpose, and to present a flag bearer who will give Nigerians a sense of hope and confidence while ensuring victory for our party. I extend a similar reminder to all of you distinguished aspirants.”

“Similarly, I wish to remind you that our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board, and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges.

“Ahead of the Convention, the party machinery has screened and found all aspirants eminently qualified. Recognizing this fact, the Screening Committee has, amongst others, recommended that consensus building through consultation, be intensified.

“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”

Earlier in his comments, the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu promised that all stakeholders of the party would be reached in the consultation process.

Responding on behalf of the aspirants, former Governor of old Abia State and immediate past Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, and Vice President, ‘Yemi Osinbajo, thanked the President for his leadership and guidance, pledging that they would hold the consultations as counseled “for the unity and strength of our party, the APC.”

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