Seven Presidential aspirants under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, have dismissed the names of five presidential aspirants purportedly sent to President Muhammadu Buhari to select a consensus candidate.
The aggrieved aspirants, in a statement issued in the early hours of Tuesday shortly after a brief meeting in Abuja, the aspirants distanced themselves from the purported list.
The aspirants, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade; former minister for state for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Minister for science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, former governor Rochas Okorocha and businessman Tein Jack-Rich, stressed that they were not consulted before the governors arrived at the decision
While describing the move as shambolic and an already failed attempt to sideline other aspirants particularly those from the South-East and South-South regions, the aspirants rallied support for the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu.
The statement read: “In the past few hours we have been bombarded with calls and messages from my supporters and concerned Nigerians on a list of five Presidential aspirants submitted to President Buhari to choose from.
“As long as we are concerned no list has been submitted to Mr. President, the move by the Governors is considered a joke taken to the extreme with the aim of playing with the intellect of Nigerians particularly us from the South-East.
“Mr. President’s directive is very simple, that all Presidential aspirants including those from the North should meet and harmonise in order to produce a single candidate. As it stands we have not been consulted or attended a meeting where it was agreed that such names be sent to Mr. President.
“In the so-called list out of the five names only one was selected from the South-East and we are talking about fairness and justice to the South.
“What the Governors have done is a mere picnic in the park. These are the same Governors talking about Equity, justice and fairness yet in a clandestine manner purportedly sidelined the South East.
“In the absence of any harmonised agreement no list has been submitted to Mr. President, what they have done is just nothing but a charade which is bound to fail.
“We also have it on good authority that the majority of these Governors have been promised and also given various forms of gratifications in order to thwart the process in favour of one aspirant and such grand plot will fail woefully.
“More so, the party led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu remains the official organ of the party through which decisions taken by stakeholders in the party will be communicated and acted upon, in the absence of that any other move remains null and void.
“We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard such information, as we remain in the race hence no consensus agreement has been reached amongst all contestants.”
The names shortlisted by the governors include that of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Transportation, and Governor Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State).
The governors after meeting with the President said they will return to the villa after meeting with the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, and other stakeholders.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan was earlier named as the consensus candidate by the national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, to the rejection of the governors and other party leaders.