The ruling All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants from the South-West and key stakeholders met in Abuja on Saturday night.
The meeting snowballed into Sunday morning. But they could not agree on who among them should fly the flag of the party in a consensus agreement.
The meeting is expected to continue Sunday before the Monday Presidential National Convention of the party.
The seven presidential aspirants from the South-West are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ajayi Boroffice; a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and fiery Lagos cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare.
Also at the meeting are governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo).
This is coming after APC governors from the Northern part of the country backed the transfer of power to the South.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the governors on Saturday night in Abuja.
The Northern governors also asked aspirants from the northern region to withdraw.
Among the governors who signed a communique issued after the meeting are Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State; Abubakar Sani Bello, Niger; Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa; Prof. Umara Zulum, Borno; Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna; Muhammad Yahaya, Gombe; and Bello Matawalle, Zamfara State.
Others are Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Dr. Umar Ganduje, Kano; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and former Governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
A statement issued after the meeting read, “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 the 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.
“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 soberest and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.”Follow us on social media