President Muhammadu Buhari says the All Progressives Congress (APC) must focus on the “changing dynamics of our environment” when choosing its presidential candidate.
The leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), picked Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate on Saturday.
Speaking at a meeting with APC governors at Aso Rock on Tuesday, Buhari said the second term governors have been “accorded the privilege” of choosing their successors, adding that he would require the support of the party stakeholders in selecting the person who would succeed him.
“The processes for the 2023 general election have commenced in earnest and I note that the most successful political parties globally have always relied on their internal cohesion and a strong leadership brand to achieve bigger electoral fortunes,” he said.
“Our party, the APC, shall not be any different, more so as we are still implementing the blueprint for a more prosperous nation.
“As I begin the final year of my second term as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of the party, I recognize the compelling need for me to provide stronger leadership to the party under this transition process and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.
“Such leadership is required so that the party remains strong and united. It is also needed to improve our electoral fortunes by ensuring that it retains power at the center, holds the great majority in various legislative chambers and also gains an additional number of states.
“In a few days, the party will be holding its convention during which primaries would take place to pick the Presidential Flag Bearer for the 2023 general election.
“This is a very significant process and its outcome should prove to the world the positive quality of the APC regarding democratic principles, culture as well as leadership.
“The party has successfully established internal policies that promote continuity and smooth succession plans even at the state and local government levels. For example, first term governors who have served credibly well have been encouraged to stand for re-election.
“Similarly, second term governors have been accorded the privilege of promoting successors that are capable of driving their visions as well as the ideals of the party.
“As we approach the convention, I appeal to all of you to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community.
“In keeping with the established internal policies of the party and as we approach the convention in a few days, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party.”
Buhari said the party’s objective in 2023 should be victory.
“Our objective must be the victory of our party and our choice of candidate must be someone who would give the Nigerian masses a sense of victory and confidence even before the elections,” he said.
On his part, Atiku Bagudu, chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), said the party must build on its recent elective convention.
“We will support Mr President to have a very successful convention,” Bagudu said.
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