President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday afternoon dismissed reports that he had anointed the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
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 National Working Committee (NWC) on Monday in Abuja.
His adoption of Lawan as the consensus candidate is 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.
This comes amid preparations for the party’s convention to elect its presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
However, 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 has “no preferred candidate,” and has “anointed no one,” and is 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.
“The President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way: ‘You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The Party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody.’
“Earlier in their addresses, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of the Progressive Governors Forum, said they had come to affirm the position of the Northern Governors that the party’s candidate in the presidential election shall come from the southern part of the country.
“They apologised to the President for the leakage of their signed memorandum which was not in support of any particular candidate and gave assurances to the President on their readiness to accept his leadership on the matter.
Following reports that the APC National Chairman, Adamu, had announced Lawan as the consensus candidate of the party, SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that Buhari would soon come out to deny Adamu’s claims.
SaharaReporters had learnt that Buhari indeed confided in Adamu that Lawan was his choice but never instructed him to make it public.
“Buhari will deny that he anointed Senate President, Lawan as consensus candidate. Although Buhari confided in Adamu, that he prefers Lawan, he didn’t tell him to announce it.
“Governors had pigeon-holed Buhari by asking the presidency to go to the South and Kaduna Governor, (Nasir) El- Rufai got wind of it and leaked their position to the press to pressurise Buhari not to endorse Lawan,” a top source had revealed.