Ahead of its presidential primary election slated for Tuesday night, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shortlisted five presidential aspirants from which its 2023 Presidential candidate would emerged.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY had reported a meeting between members of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) at the party’s national secretariat on Monday night.
In attendance include Governors of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Kano, Umar Ganduje, Plateau, Simon Lalong, Niger, Sani Bello, Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule, Borno, Babagana Zulum, Gombe, Mohammad Inuwa Yahaya, among others.
Also, except the party’s National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu, almost all the members of the NWC attended the meeting.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting on Channels Television on Tuesday morning, chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said from the list of 13 presidential aspirants cleared by the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led Screening Committee, five aspirants have been shortlisted for the presidential primary election.
The five shortlisted aspirants, according to Lalong, include Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu; Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
Governor Lalong also disclosed that the five aspirants have been mandated to also consult among themselves and agree to one consensus candidate.
He added that some of the aspirants are still likely to withdraw from the race after intense negotiations with stakeholders before the actual commencement of delegates voting on Tuesday night.
Sources, however confirmed to DIPLOMATICDIARY, that the five shortlisted aspirants have further been pruned to three, which include Vice-president Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi and Bola Tinubu, for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although, the president has insisted that he has no preferred candidate, it was not clear if he would now chose from the names submitted to him.
Governors of the party had on Monday engaged in series of horse-trading, separately holding meetings along their regional composition and also separately meeting the National Chairman of the party, Senator Adamu and then other members of the NWC.
The governors, members of the NWC as well as the Tinubu Campaign Organization and several other stakeholders, had earlier rejected a unilateral decision by Senator Adamu to impose Senate President Ahmad Lawan as consensus presidential candidate on the party.