By Marvellous Nyang
In the last minute buildup to the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, ex-Transportation Minister, Rotimi Ameachi, Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) have been recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari from whom a possible consensus candidate will emerge.
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong made the disclosure on Tuesday during an interview on Channels TV’s morning documentary programme, “Sunrise Daily.”
Lalong’s words are coming a day after the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) as well as the 19 northern governors insisted on the emergence of a Southerner as Nigeria’s next President.
He affirmed that the ruling party, APC, is looking at the possibility of a consensus candidate.
“From our own recommendations, as of this morning, we recommended five people. In alphabetical order, we said Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, John Kayode Fayemi, David Umahi and Professor Yemi Osinbajo. Those are the ones we made recommendations and we said we should put them forward,” he stated.
“Consensus is possible. Right from yesterday (Monday) up till today, (Tuesday, June 7, 2022), we have been doing consultations like Mr President said, ‘I give you the opportunity, work on it.’
“The governors and the National Working Committee will continue on that consensus. As of yesterday, we were able to even reduce, made recommendations of about five persons, from 23 to recommendations of about 13 aspirants without disqualifying anybody.”
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“Within that 13 aspirants that were graded by the Screening Committee, we now looked at it and then recommended, that was jointly done by the Progressive Governors and members of the National Working Committee, reducing it to five.”
Earlier on Monday, the APC National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu, had communicated the decision of the 19 northern governors’ insistence on the emergence of a Southerner as Nigeria’s next President, while addressing reporters at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Briefing reporters in the company of some members of the NWC, he explained that the committee took the decision following a meeting of its members.
According to Argungu, the NWC stands with the position of the northern governors elected on the APC platform for power to shift to the southern part of the country when President Muhammadu Buhari completes his eight-year two terms billed to lapse in May 2023.
He made the remarks amid reports by several media outfits that a presidential hopeful and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had emerged as the party’s consensus candidate for the forthcoming poll.