By Wilfred Eya
Barely two weeks to the national convention, President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on his preferred candidate has unsettled All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants.
Daily Sun learnt that the aspirants have become jittery as they cannot decipher the body language of the president on who his successor would be.
Multiple sources said the confusion is compounded by the fact that Buhari has avoided any commitment on the issue of zoning, thus throwing both aspirants from the North and South into a dilemma.
“The silence of the president has left southern aspirants as confused as their colleagues in the North with some of them literally frustrated on how to further prosecute their ambitions.”
At the close of sales of forms, 28 persons procured the N100 million each expression of interest and nomination forms. However, three failed to submit.
One of the sources said: “By now, many had expected that the president would by his actions give an idea of his preference but so far, it is the more you look, the less you see. The rumour in town is that Buhari encouraged most of the aspirants to join the race. Remember when they gave the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, a revered chieftaincy in Daura (Buhari’s home town), many concluded that he was the one endorsed by the president. When Emefiele joined, many said he was the one. Some also believe that the president entered into an agreement with former Lagos State governor, Ahmed Tinubu to succeed him after his eight years in office. There are others who say that having enjoyed a good working relationship with his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari may have secretly endorsed him. The funny thing is that all the aspirants seem close to the president and he relates with them equally.”
Amidst the loud silence of the president who is the leader of the party, fears of consensus option has also heightened.
He told Daily Sun that many of the aspirants do not want a repeat of the last party convention where many aspirants’ ambitions were scuttled at the eleventh hour after they had spent their hard-earned resources and time. “It is because of such fears that some of the aspirants who bought the expression of interests and nomination forms withdrew when they could not decode the body language of the president”, the source said.
The APC had on Wednesday, May 18 approved and adjusted the timetable/schedule of activities for the governorship, state House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and presidential primaries and appeals.
The Special Convention where the party’s presidential candidate would be elected is slated for Sunday, May 29-Monday, May 30.