The Director-General of the Yemi Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said on Tuesday, that three aspirants have stepped down for the Vice-President.
A special convention to elect a presidential candidate for the APC in the 2023 general election is ongoing at Eagle Square in Abuja. Though voting had yet to start, Gaya said three aspirants had stepped down, leaving only two Presidential aspirants in the race.
According to him, the remaining two aspirants are Osinbajo and former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State.
Recall that APC governors earlier submitted the names of five presidential aspirants to President Muhammadu Buhari to select a consensus candidate.
The names included Osinbajo; former governor of Lagos State, Tinubu; Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi.
However, in a recent development, Gaya who represents Kano-South senatorial district, said the list has now been trimmed to two.
He, however, did not mention the three aspirants.
He only claimed that a former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who stepped down on Monday did so to support Osinbajo.
He said, “We have Vice-President Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu. I am aware that some aspirants have stepped down for Osinbajo. Nnamani and two others have stepped down for Osinbajo.”
The run-up to the APC special convention, which is billed to run till Wednesday, has been dominated by intrigues over the zoning of the presidential ticket and consensus candidacy.
Moves by some party members, including President Buhari to ensure the emergence of a consensus candidate from among the array of aspirants were unsuccessful.
On Saturday, the president held a meeting with the aspirants during which he asked them to choose a consensus candidate among themselves.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday dismissed reports that he had anointed the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the presidential candidate of the party.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the APC announced Senate President Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party.
Adamu reportedly made the announcement at the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) on Monday in Abuja.
His adoption of Lawan as the consensus candidate was against the position of 11 APC northern governors, who had said that power must shift to the South after President Buhari’s tenure.
Adamu told the National Working Committee that he arrived at the choice of the Senate President after consultation with President Buhari.
Earlier, Buhari was reported to have held a closed-door meeting with governors of the APC from the North at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement on Monday signed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, said Buhari declared before the party’s 14 governors of northern states that he had “no preferred candidate,” and had “anointed no one,” and was determined to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
Speaking at a meeting with the Governors at the State House, Abuja, the statement quoted President Buhari as saying the party is important and its members must be respected and made to feel they are important.