The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed the screening of its presidential aspirants earlier scheduled for today (Monday).
The postponement came on the heels of series of meetings that President Muhammadu Buhari had scheduled with governors on the platform of the party, National Assembly caucus and the presidential aspirants towards arriving at a consensus presidential candidate for the party.
It was gathered that the leadership of the APC shifted the screening of presidential aspirants, pending the meetings President Buhari had lined up.
President Buhari is believed to persuade all invited for the meeting to adopt a consensus presidential candidate. It is also believed that the President would, in the meetings, unveil his preferred aspirant.
Sources revealed that the meetings would start with governors, followed by National Assembly caucus and finally the presidential aspirants.
President Buhari’s preferred candidate is still held close to his chest as at time of filing this report.
Sources, however, revealed that the President, during the last trip abroad, made up his mind on who to support for the ticket and who would be running mate.
It was gathered that President Buhari, after unveiling his choice in the meetings, would push for consensus, just as it happened during the process of picking APC’s National Chairman.
After the President zeroed in on Sen. Abdullahi Adamu as preferred National Chairman for APC, he held meetings with governors elected on the platform of the Party and National Assembly caucus, where he told them the direction. Following that, other Chairmanship aspirants were persuaded to withdraw from the race.
Apparently, reading the writing on the wall, in choice of consensus candidate, a known aspirant from South West is believed to be making arrangements to defect to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) this week to pursue his presidential ambition.
The presidential aspirant, it was gathered, said in order to satisfy himself that he pursued his ambition to the end, his name must be on the ballot in next year’s election.
On the aspirant President Buhari has elected to support, sources said he has interest in North, South East and South South and that the presidential ticket would have North/South South or North/South East combination or vice versa.
Aspirants in the race to pick the APC presidential ticket include Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; immediate past Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi; Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
Other aspirants are immediate past Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuba; immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; a former Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha; a former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and incumbent Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Pastor Tunde Bakare; Governor Yahaya Bello Kogi State; business mogul, Chief Tein Jack-Rich are also presidential aspirants in APC.