Former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Farouk Aliyu, on Wednesday said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has five potential candidates that can defeat the Peoples Democratic Party’s flagbearer in 2023.
Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s ex-Vice President emerged as the PDP candidate for next year’s general election, after flooring his closest rival and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to clinch the ticket. Four days after the convention, Aliyu said the ruling party is careful enough to field a candidate that can defeat the main opposition party to retain power.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, he listed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu; ex-Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and former Education (State) minister; Emeka Nwajiuba among others as potential candidates that can rival Atiku in the polls.
He, however, admitted that the PDP candidate is not one that can be ignored considering his popularity in the country.
“We have more than five people in APC that can beat Atiku Abubakar. Amaechi, Bola Tinubu, Emeka Nwajiuba, Vice President Osinbajo can,” he said.
“Majority of the aspirants can beat Atiku Abubakar. We are also the ruling party, we are not going to sit by and allow these things to go like that. We will do our homework to ensure that things are done properly, that Nigerians will vote APC for what we have done.”
When asked if Atiku’s emergence as a PDP candidate is forcing the APC to search the northern region for its flagbearer, Aliyu didn’t directly reply the question.
Rather, he said that some APC leaders were considering shopping for a credible person as its candidate for the 2023 general polls.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari, being the APC leader is looking for a credible Nigerian candidate that will be generally accepted by the masses.
He added, “The President, who is the leader of the party, is looking for a Nigerian candidate. I am one of those that are looking for a Nigerian candidate.
“I have no sentiment for North or South. I am looking for a candidate that can beat Atiku Abubakar at the polls wherever he might be from. I am sure our party is going to do the right thing.”