The plan for another Northerner to pick the presidential ticket of the All Progressive Congress has thickened ahead of party’s primary election scheduled for May 30 to June 1st.
The development according to Dailytrust has created apprehension in the camps of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; a former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and other presidential aspirants of the party from the southern part of the country.
It was gathered that arrangements have gone far for the party’s flag bearer to emerge from the northern part of the country.
Multiple sources said the agenda is being promoted by some northern elders, governors, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and lawmakers.
Four of the 28 presidential aspirants including the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and a former Zamfara State Governor, Sen. Ahmed Yarima, are from the northern part of the country. The push, it was gathered made the four of them to pick the forms.
Findings by this paper revealed that the quest to retain power in the North started shortly after the re-election of President Buhari in 2019.
The proponents of the agenda, it was further gathered, are all out to secure the buy-in of President Muhammadu Buhari to actualise their plan.
It was further gathered that they have already reached out to people around the president, including his nephew, Malam Mamman Daura and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe.
Daura had in July 2020, while featuring in a BBC Hausa Service interview, said that there was no need for zoning the presidential ticket to any part of the country.
His statement generated heated debate in the polity with many construing it to be the position of the president, a claim that was punctured by the presidency.
One of the promoters of the project, an elder statesman said parties exist to win elections and not to massage the ego of anybody.
He said with the feelers in the PDP that a strong contender from the North is likely to pick the ticket of the leading opposition party, the only option for the APC is to pick a northerner.
“It is our general calculation that we must also pick our candidate from the North because if we pick a southerner, the PDP will defeat us before noon on election day.
“This is why we have four aspirants from the three geopolitical zones in the North; Lawan (North East), Yahaya Bello (North Central), and Badaru and Yarima from (North West),” he said.
He, however, said they would mount pressure on Badaru and Yarima to pull out of the race, saying “We had Yar’adua and Buhari from their zone.”
Also, some governors who are members of the party from the North and South have been recruited into the project.
It was learnt that a meeting of the promoters and some southern governors pushing for the actualisation of the plan has been convened.
Daily Trust reports that it was Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and his Imo counterpart, Hope Uzodimma, who returned the expression of interest and nomination forms of Senate President Lawan to the national secretariat of the ruling party.
Also, a former governor of Abia State who is now the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu has been in the forefront of promoting northern candidacy. He has since shelved his presidential ambition in favour of Lawan