Ahead of the March 26 National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the governors of the party have declared their support for the candidate endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
They stated this after a meeting with President Buhari, on Wednesday said they were in the process of consensus candidates.
The governors were led to the meeting by the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting with President Buhari, chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, said they will support any process that would lead to a consensus.
Recall Buhari had last month said he was in favour of the consensus mode for selecting candidates for the party’s national positions.
He had urged the governors to explore the option of consensus.
He said, “Today, members of the Progressive Governors Forum were hosted by Mr President at a meeting to discuss what the governors have been doing in preparation for the March 26, National Convention.
“We discussed and briefed him on what the governors have been doing in support of the March 26, 2022, National Convention, which is coming up in a few days. We restated our commitment to our unity and support for Mr President to acknowledge the progress made under the APC
“Some of you may recall that last week there was a letter that was widely circulated in the media, addressed to me as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and copied to a number of others, including the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, the acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and indeed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“That letter led to a series of actions, including meetings between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Acting Chairman, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, as he was then, and myself.
“We all restated our commitment to working together to ensure that the convention takes place on March 26, 2022, and then we agreed to support all the decisions that were taken by the Caretaker Committee, both acting as a working committee and acting with the donated powers given to it by the National Executive Committee.
“Indeed, the Chairman of the Caretaker, upon his return, also appreciated what the Caretaker Committee did and the decisions that were taken in his absence.
“Today we all briefed Mr. President on that, of course, included on that is the issue of distributing political party offices to the respective zones and our support for Mr President’s endorsement of the candidate for the National Chairman of the party.
“And the various geo-political zones took turns to brief Mr President, on what they have been doing to generate consensus in their respective zones amongst the National Working Committee and zonal party positions that have been either allocated to the zones or which the zones are entitled to.
“Most of the zones have been allocated National Working Committee positions that are fewer than the number of states, but however, there are zonal executive committees from which the zones are working to produce a consensus list.
“So, this afternoon, the respective zones; Governor Abubakar Bello on behalf of the North-Central; His Excellency, Governor Babagana Zulum, on behalf of the Northeast; His Excellency, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State on behalf of Northwest; His Excellency, Governor Dave Umahi, on behalf of Southeast. Governor Kayode Fayemi briefed the President on the Southwest. I further mention the position of the South-South to Mr. President, as I had on paper.
“So, Mr. President, appreciated the briefing and restated his gratitude for the work the governors have been doing in support for in support of the party and preparation for the National Convention. Thank you. Let me share my screen.”
Asked what will happen to some of the aspirants that have not agreed on consensus, Governor Bagudu said that as a democratic party, nobody would be stopped from contesting.
“Our party is a democratic party, we will always urge consensus, we’ll urge respect for the decisions of the party because the distribution of political party offices here has been approved by the highest organ of the party, which is the National Caretaker Committee, because they were acting in their capacity as the National Executive Committee of the party.
“But where people still choose to go against the grain, whatever the party constitution allows them, because we wouldn’t do anything on undemocratic.
“Mr. President has always urged consensus for all positions because consensus is in accordance with the democratic tenets and once you have leaders who are established, who are working towards the same goal, yes, we might have our individual differences, like was once carefully explained by Governor El-Rufa’i, but on the principle of ensuring that we get leadership that will hit the ground running, we are united, and to that extent, who will support any process that will lead to consensus and the emergence of leaders without the need for election.”
Further asked whether there would be surprises at the convention, he said, “No, the governors are united.
“The governors are unanimous in support of Mr President. The governors are unanimous in the support of the caretaker committee.
“Naturally, there will be hiccups one day, but we have overcome them and we are a human organization, which is bound sometimes to generate emotions and anxiety, but we are united and unanimous and by God’s grace, we’ll have a very successful and peaceful National Convention. “
However, one of the governors at the meeting said that no agreement had been reached on consensus.
The governor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that discussions on consensus were ongoing.