Mr Buhari had asked the governors to identify the best prospect for the party’s 2023 flag-bearer.
Eleven northern governors have backed a southern aspirant for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
This led Jigawa Governor Badaru to withdraw from the presidential race, according to a statement from the governors seen by Peoples Gazette Saturday night.
The governors who signed the statement include Bello Masari, Katsina; Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna; Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Simon Lalong, Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Bello Matawalle, Zamfara; Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe; Babagana Zulum, Borno; Sani Bello, Niger; and Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa.
The announcement comes as President Muhammadu Buhari meets 13 aspirants cleared to contest the party’s primaries on June 6-8 in Abuja.
Mr Buhari had asked the governors to identify the best prospect for the party’s 2023 flagbearer. It was not immediately clear whether or not the governors had backed a specific southern aspirant.
Read full statement of the governors below:
Statement by Northern States’ APC Governors and Political Leaders
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 anyway 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. We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
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.
Signed, 4th June 2022:
Aminu Bello Masari — Governor of Katsina State
Abubakar Sani Bello — Governor of Niger State
Abdullahi A. Sule — Governor of Nasarawa State
Prof. B.G. Umara Zulum — Governor of Borno State
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai — Governor of Kaduna State
Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya — Governor of Gombe State
Bello M. Matawalle — Governor of Zamfara State
Simon Bako Lalong — Governor of Plateau State
Senator Aliyu Wamakko — Former Governor of Sokoto State
Dr. A.U. Ganduje — Governor of Kano State
Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu — Governor of Kebbi State