2023: APC Governors gang up against Tinubu, Osinbajo, Amaechi over Zoning

Amid declarations from different Southern politicians, some Governors are pushing for a Northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, POLITICS NIGERIA exclusively gathered.

Based on the existing North/South rotation, the All Progressives Congress reportedly zoned the office of the President to the South since the outgoing President is a Northerner.

In the past weeks, many southerners including a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and many others have declared interest in the office.

But, some APC Governors, according to multiple sources, fear that the party might lose out should the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. field a candidate from the North. Rather than lose out, the Governors are weighing the possibility of reaching a consensus, a source said, hinting on a meeting planned for next week.

Another source who begged to remain anonymous for security concerns said the party is polarised across different lines.

“You have those who are with Tinubu and those with the vice president. We also have others whose loyalists in the Governors Forum are trying to protect their interests”, a source told this paper.

The process of getting a consensus is also difficult because some incumbent Governors like Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and David Umahi of Ebonyi state have also signified interest in the race.

It was also gathered that the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, might declare his Presidential ambition after the Ramadan fasting period.

While it remains unclear the preferred candidate of the Governors pushing for a Northern President, this newspaper learnt that they are seeking a common ground to prevent a replay of the national convention scenario when the President imposed a Chairmanship candidate as the consensus candidate on the eve of the convention date.

“The fact is that while majority of them want President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to the pre-National Convention agreement to allow them nominate from among themselves, a handful of them have their primary loyalties. You have Bello and Fayemi who are contestants and you have those who are aligned to Asiwaju and the vice president respectively”

“However, they don’t want to be ‘ambushed’ like it happened during the National Convention where their inability to present a common front from the word go made Mr President to pick for them”.

“The Governors do not want that scenario to repeat itself. A lot of events will unfold in May and that will determine the outcome of the primaries,” said one of our sources.

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