Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, says he does not mind being considered as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the 2023 general elections.
He stated this on Wednesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.
When asked whether he won’t mind being considered as the presidential candidate of his party, the governor said, “I think the party should take a decision based on zoning principles which would be resolved as a party.”
When further questioned whether he would be throwing his hat in the ring, Ayade said, “Let me say, yes and no; if the (APC) family finds that I am fit and proper, yes. If the family finds that there is a better option and that option fits into the zoning (arrangement), of course, I will stand by the party position. I am a conformist; I stand with the system. I have never been an aberrant, I work with the system.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Ayade defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party in May 2021.
With barely a year to the 2023 general election, many politicians have started declaring their intention to run for the exalted office in Aso Villa.
Presidential hopefuls that have emerged in the last few days include APC leader, Bola Tinubu; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; media personality, Dele Momodu; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; former Governor of Abia State and Majority Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, among others.
A few northern politicians have also been rumoured to nurse presidential ambition. The politicians include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who had contested for presidency on three occasions, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and an ex-governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso. While neither of them had yet to officially declare their presidential bid, there are strong indications they are eyeing the exalted position.
The politicians, who mostly belong to the APC and the PDP, have since started consultation ahead of party primaries which are expected to hold this year.