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Consensus deal collapses as delegates elect APC candidate

3 weeks ago
Herald News
17

Spirited efforts by major stakeholders to arrive at an acceptable consensus presidential candidate ahead of today’s All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary collapsed last night, it was gathered.

Our correspondents report that the presidency, the APC governors and the leadership of the ruling party were not on the same page even though marathon meetings were being held to mend fences so that their differences would not manifest at the Eagle Square.

In the event they failed, it was gathered from reliable sources that all the presidential aspirants would be allowed to slug it out.

With the development, the 2,322 delegates selected from across the 774 local government areas of the country would now decide the fate of the 23 presidential aspirants at Eagle Square. Each LGA has three delegates.

In the last 72 hours, there have been moves by leaders of the party to come up with a consensus candidate.

The president had during his meeting with the aspirants on Saturday urged them to build consensus and come up with a formidable candidate.

Reports later showed that the president’s directive motivated meeting by various tendencies in the party amid tension and horse-trading. The South West, South East and other groupings in the party met severally to come forth with a consensus to no avail.

While the regional leaders of the party have continued with their meetings, the president on his part, had met with governors and elders of the party with a view to coming up with a consensus candidate. From all indications, the president had so far held four meetings on the matter.

It was gathered that the president during his meeting with the National Advisory Council on Sunday, asked the critical stakeholders to come up with a consensus before the primary.

A source said following the president’s request, a 3-man committee comprising the party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha was constituted.

“The committee could not do anything, hence the president’s statement that they should go to the poll,” the source said.

However, another source added that when the president gave the mandate to the advisory council, he was told that they could not carry out the assignment. They advised that the governors should be given the responsibility.

However, when the report filtered around that the national chairman has announced that Senate President Ahmad Lawan was the consensus candidate, the presidency countered the claim, further making the problem more complicated.

I’ve no anointed presidential candidate – Buhari

Following the collapse of the consensus efforts, President Buhari yesterday said he has “no preferred candidate” and has “anointed no one.”

The president spoke at a meeting with APC governors from the northern states held at the State House, Abuja.

His remarks came amid reports that Senator Adamu had told members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party that Senator Lawan was the consensus presidential candidate of the party.

Adamu had claimed that he made the announcement after meeting with President Buhari.

However, Buhari, who cleared all doubts about where he stood on the choice of a presidential candidate for the APC, expressed his determination to ensure that “There shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”

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