The Governors met with Buhari on Wednesday March 23, 2022, to update him on the progress so far made in the planning of the party’s National Convention slated for Saturday March 26, 2022.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Atiku Bagudu, said they would adhere to Buhari’s guidance for the convention, including his prefered choice for chairman.
Bagudu added that the President has always clamoured for consensus for all the positions because it’s in tandem with democratic tenets and helps to eliminate rancour among party stakeholders.
Bagudu said, “We all restated our commitment to working together to ensure that the convention takes place on March 26, 2022 and then we agreed to support all the decisions that were taken by the Caretaker Committee, both acting as a working committee and acting with the donated powers given to it by the National Executive Committee.
“Most of the zones have been allocated National Working Committee positions that are fewer than the number of States but there are zonal executive committees from which the zones are working to produce a consensus list.
“So, this afternoon, the respective zones; Governor Abu Bello on behalf of the North-Central; His Excellency, Governor Babagana Zulum Umara, on behalf of the Northeast; His Excellency, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State on behalf of Northwest; His Excellency, Governor Dave Umahi, on behalf of Southeast. Governor Kayode Fayemi briefed the President on the Southwest. I further mention the position of the South-South to Mr. President, as I had on paper.
“So, Mr. President, appreciated the briefing and restated his gratitude for the work the governors have been doing in support for the in support of the party and preparation for the National Convention,” he said.
The Kebbi state governor, however, said the party will not vilify any aspirant that feels discontented with the consensus arrangement as they’re at liberty to enter the contest at the convention ground on Saturday.
“Our party is a democratic party, we will always urge consensus, we’ll urge respect for the decisions of the party because the distribution of political party offices here has been approved by the highest organ of the party, which is the National Caretaker Committee, because they were acting in their capacity as the National Executive Committee of the party, but where people still choose to go against the grain, whatever the party constitution allows them, because we wouldn’t do anything undemocratic.
“Mr. President has always urged consensus for all positions because consensus is in accordance with the democratic tenets and once you have leaders who are established, who are working towards the same goal, yes, we might have our individual differences, like was once carefully explained by Governor El-Rufa’i, but on the principle of ensuring that we get leadership that will hit the ground running, we are united, and to that extent, who will support any process that will lead to consensus and the emergence of leaders without the need for election.”
In the same vein, Punch quoted Buhari to have given a directive that aspirants who are not included in the consensus arrangement should have the money they used to purchase nomination and expression of interest forms refunded.
“All those who have bought forms indicating interest and have been dropped should have their money refunded without delay,” the president was quoted to have said.
It remains unclear at this time who the anointed candidate is among the seven aspirants who have picked up the nomination forms.
They include: former governors of Nasarawa, Benue, and Zamfara, Tanko Al-Makura, Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, and Abdulaziz Yari respectively.
Others are Niger-East lawmaker, Senator Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha, and Mohammed Etsu.
The aspirants were screened on the night of Tuesday, March 22, 2022, by the Screening Committee led by Katsina state governor, Bello Masari.