President Muhammadu Buhari did not demand zoning the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to Southern Nigeria, the presidency has said.
Reports had emerged to effect that Buhari, during a meeting with presidential aspirants on Saturday, asked that the party’s presidential ticket should go to the south.
However, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, told the BBC that Buhari never said so.
This issue has not arisen. All he has to do is negotiate and get one person out of it, and he has shown that as a leader he is ready to provide leadership to make that happen.
Buhari invited aspirants on the party’s platform to a late-night meeting at the State House on Saturday night. Official transcripts of the meeting released by Femi Adesina said the president asked all the aspirants to seek a consensus amongst themselves.
Shehu said the president would back anyone chosen during consensus talks, notwithstanding the aspirant’s region.
Activities have intensified for a consensus candidate to be worked out amongst aspirants and party leaders. Meetings were held across Abuja overnight, including the meeting of South-West leaders that was held at Olusegun Osoba’s residence.
Bola Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi, Yemi Osinbajo, Kayode Fayemi, Ogbonnaya Onu, and Emeka Nwaiuba, amongst others, are southern politicians seeking the ticket. Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President from northeast Yobe, is also a top contender.
The party’s convention for the adoption of a candidate will commence on June 6 in Abuja.