By ISMAILA CHAFE
ABUJA- President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of the week appraised the series of consultations held so far towards getting a widely acceptable presidential standard bearer for the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
The president, who met with members of the National Advisory Council of the APC on June 5, rightly predicted a successful party’s convention at the Eagle Square between June 7 and 8.
The president at the meeting with members of the Council, said: “We are on the way towards winning our third straight victory since 2015.”
Buhari also met behind closed doors with Northern governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the State House, Abuja, on June 6.
Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, in a statement confirmed that Buhari again, cleared all doubts about his stand on the choice of a presidential candidate for the governing APC.
Shehu quoted the president as insisting that he had “anointed no one”.
Buhari said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same way.
On June 7, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi and presidential aspirant of APC then, had met with the president and disassociated himself from the party’s consensus plan.
Buhari, who addressed the convention on June 8, urged members of the APC to remain united and avoid acrimony.
He also enjoined delegates at the special convention to consider voting the presidential candidate with the best chances of securing victory in the 2023 general elections.
He said the leadership of the party must continue to forge the unity of purpose among party members and to keep securing needed compromises in the interest of the party.
On the same day, the president presented the All Progressives Congress Victory Flag to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who emerged winner of the just concluded party’s presidential primary election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that delegates of the APC at the convention elected the former Lagos State governor as APC presidential flagbearer for the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rivals, former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who scored 316 votes, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who garnered 235 votes.
Buhari later congratulated Tinubu, the APC presidential flagbearer in the 2023 elections.
The president declared: “Having emerged victorious he has our full and unwavering support.”
Similarly, the president on June 9, described the just-concluded presidential primary of the APC as one of the most competitive and peaceful in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.
Buhari stated this in a letter addressed to Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum.
The president commended the role played by Bagudu in the success of the primary that produced the standard-bearer of the party in the 2023 elections, Tinubu.
On June 9, the Nigerian leader hosted the outgoing Ambassador of South Sudan to Nigeria, Paul Molong, who paid him a farewell visit at the State House, Abuja.
Buhari expressed satisfaction over the cordial relations between Nigeria and South Sudan.
Also on Thursday night, the president hosted the APC presidential flagbearer, who was on Thank-You visit to the State House, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Tinubu pledged to sustain Buhari’s legacies when he wins the election and is sworn in as his successor.
He commended the president for providing a level-playing field for the process of selecting the party’s presidential candidate.
The president concluded his official engagements for the week on Friday with the inauguration of the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and e-Government, promising that his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.
He directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, to chair the council on his behalf and give regular updates.
He tasked members of the council to work towards further strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index. (NAN)