Barring any last minute change, there are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari will next month showcase his preferred candidate among those who have indicated interest to succeed him in office, Centrancom reports.
The candidate, according to a source, will be taken from those running on his party platform, All Progressives Congress, APC.
Buhari’s second tenure ends May 29 next year and the party’s presidential primary has been fixed to run from May 30 and June 1, this year.
It was gathered that Buhari is currently studying the aspirants, their attitudes, actions, backgrounds and others, critically before either making his pronouncement on the issue or directing his trusted aides on whom to queue behind among them.
Some of the aspirants, who have made their intentions known to run for the presidency are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi; a former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu; and an ex-governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
Other rumoured to have presidential ambition in the party but have yet to declare their intentions include the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele.
In a Television interview,
January this year, Buhari expressed fear that his favourite presidential candidate might be “eliminated” if he revealed the identity.
“It is not my problem,” he replied when asked about the next presidential election.
He stated, “I am not interested. I believe that whoever wins the poll should be sworn in as the next leader of Nigeria.
“All important things have been documented. No one should ask me to appear before the court to give evidence on any issue (public funds). All important things are already on record. I am sure about that.”
When asked about his preferred successor, the President replied, “I won’t tell you my favourite for 2023; he may be eliminated if I mention him. I better keep it a secret.”
Meanwhile, APC is not only party fielding candidates for the election, about 18 political parties are participating in the general elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has also commenced preparations for the poll.
Nigerians electorates are the ones who will, through elections, determine who succeeds President Buhari.