The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors from the North want an aspirant from the South to pick the party’s presidential ticket and have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to consider this.
Following a meeting with Buhari on Saturday, the governors released a statement to this effect.
They also asked the northern presidential hopefuls to withdraw from the race in national interest.
According to the statement, Abubakar Badaru, governor of Jigawa state, has withdrawn from the race “to contribute to this patriotic quest”.
The statement reads: “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 any way 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.
“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.”
The statement was signed by Aminu Bello Masari, governor of Katsina state; Abubakar Sani Bello, governor of Niger; Abdullahi Sule, governor of Nasarawa; Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno; Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna.
Others are Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, governor of Gombe; Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara; Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state; and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi state.