Governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s National Working Committee have reportedly endorsed five aspirants for today’s presidential primary of the party while asking the remaining 17 contenders to step down.
Those who got the nod of the governors and party leaders to remain in the race are former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu; a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
While disclosing the new development on Tuesday Plateau State governor Solomon Lalong said the list of shortlisted “frontline candidates” has been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, who approved the recommendation.
“The president told us any of these five are qualified to be president and have contributed to the party (APC). He said he is comfortable with any of them,” said Mr Lalong while speaking on Channels TV programme, Sunrise.
“Our recommendation is to enable us to give direction for the party as we go into the primary. We cannot go with everybody, but in our view, these are the people we think should remain.”
The Plateau Governor said the five recommended aspirants were also advised to hold consultations among themselves to enable them further reduce the number of contestants.
On how the list of “frontline” aspirants was arrived at, Mr Lalong said, “The screening committee submitted a report. All the contestants were graded even though none of them was disqualified.”
Lalong, however, added that contestants not shortlisted were free to disagree with the recommendation and proceed to contest at the primary.
The latest development dealt a blow to the plot by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu to foist Senate President Ahmed Lawan on the party as a consensus candidate.