Governors and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Northern Nigeria have demanded that the presidential ticket of the party be zoned to the southern part of the country.
The governors stated their position in a public statement signed by 10 of them and the leader of the party in Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
A total of 22 of Nigeria’s 36 states are governed by the APC. Fourteen of the governors are from the North, while eight are from the South.
Only four northern APC state governors did not sign the statement. Two of them, Yahaya Bello of Kogi and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, are among the APC’s 23 presidential aspirants.
The 10 Northern APC governors that signed the statement are those of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Gombe, Borno, Plateau and Kebbi.
The statement by the Northern governors comes a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari told APC governors that he wanted to pick his successor and needs their support to do so.
Mr Buhari did not, however, name his preferred candidate, thus leaving room for speculations.
At the time of this report, Mr Buhari was meeting with the 23 presidential aspirants of the APC.
Before the stance of the northern APC governors, their colleagues from the south had unanimously stated that the party’s presidential candidate should be from the southern part of the country.
Read the full statement by the Northern APC governors below.
Statement by Northern States’ APC Governors and Political Leaders
APC governors and political leaders from the northern states of Nigeria today met to review the political situation and to further support our Party in providing progressive leadership amidst our national challenges. During our discussions, we welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation to governors and other stakeholders to contribute to the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.
After careful deliberation, we wish to state our firm conviction that after eight years in office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 elections should be one of our teeming members from the southern states of Nigeria. It is a question of honour for the APC, an obligation that is not in anyway affected by the decisions taken by another political party. We affirm that upholding this principle is in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country.
We therefore wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states. We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries. We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms. This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.
Signed, 4th June 2022:
1. Aminu Bello Masari Governor of Katsina State
2. Abubakar Sani Bello Governor of Niger State
3. Abdullahi A. Sule Governor of Nasarawa State
4. Prof. B.G. Umara Zulum Governor of Borno State
5. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai Governor of Kaduna State
6. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya Governor of Gombe State
7. Bello M. Matawalle Governor of Zamfara State
8. Simon Bako Lalong Governor of Plateau State
9. Senator Aliyu Wamakko Former Governor of Sokoto State
10. Dr. A.U. Ganduje Governor of Kano State
11. Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu Governor of Kebbi State
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