President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, July 16, 2022, revealed that a particular governor elected under the All Progressives Congress, APC, pressed him to disclose his preferred presidential candidate before the victory of former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.
Speaking in Daura, Katsina State, during Sallah homage to the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, he, however, affirmed that the process that led to Tinubu’s election was purely democratic and a reflection of the will of party members.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), quoted him as saying: “When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) signalled parties to elect their presidential candidates, we had 30 aspirants, mostly ministers in my cabinet and governors.
“I told each of the aspirants to go and do their best. One particular governor, in his wisdom, came to meet me and asked who they should vote for at the party’s convention, checking if I had a preferred candidate.
“There was no need for interference, knowing the competence of all the aspirants. They went and elected Bola Tinubu and he picked his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima for the 2023 elections. I am praying that we will have peaceful and successful elections.”
The president said the openness and fairness with which the election convention and the nomination convention of the APC were conducted should be seen as the affirmation of the spirit of fairness and openness with which the 2023 general election will be conducted.
According to the statement, Buhari, who thanked Nigerians for their support for the APC in 2015, and 2019, said he had a rich experience in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 presidential elections, travelling to all the 774 local councils in the country, and in 2019 visiting 36 states.
He said if Nigerians knew what other African countries were passing through, they would be grateful to God as he assured that his administration was doing its best to tackle security challenges.
The president prayed that God would give him more strength and wisdom to protect the people and fulfil his promises.
President Buhari further said: “They say he who wants to serve should be ready for the responsibility of leadership. Three times I wanted this position and three times I ended up at the Supreme Court. For that reason, in terms of experience, I have gathered a lot. I visited 774 local councils in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015.
“I feel privileged that Nigerians elected me in 2015. Since then, we have been doing our best to tackle the challenges, with God helping us. We are not alone. If only we knew what other countries in Africa are passing through, we will be grateful to God, and protect our country. Other African countries are passing through a lot,” he said.