President Muhammadu Buhari has been warned by a former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu over his plan to impose a candidate on the All Progressives Congress in 2023.
According to Shittu, the plan of President Buhari ahead of the presidential primary of the ruling party may backfire.
Shittu gave this warning during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday.
The former minister’s comment was in respect to Buhari’s statement during his meeting with Progressive Governors’ Forum at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Buhari during the meeting had said, “In keeping with the established internal policies of the Party and as we approach the Convention in a few days, therefore, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the Governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.”
There are speculations that President Buhari has a preferred presidential candidate.
Shittu in his reaction charged President Buhari not to impose a presidential candidate on the party.
He advised that delegates should be allowed to pick their preferred candidate.
The former minister said, “I will appeal to Mr President to appeal to our governors that they should, as democrats, as progressives, ensure that a level playing field is provided for all aspirants.
“Let delegates from every nook and cranny of this country have an opportunity to make their choices so that Nigerians will see that we are doing better than the other parties.
“We have had several states in the past where governors attempted to bring in their preferred candidates over and above what is equitable and it has backfired.
“It is not a standard that we must try to build on. We are a democratic party and the fact that some governors have in the past imposed candidates can not be a justification for us to continue to perpetuate anti-democratic (acts).
“They should not bamboozle people, they should not intimidate, they should not do anything that will compromise the right to fairness in bringing in new candidates.”
He further stated that the 2023 election would be different from the previous ones as there are stronger candidates on parade now.
Shittu said, “In 2019, it was essentially a two-party affair but this year, with what we have seen with the NNPP coming up, with Labour Party coming up with a very strong candidate in Peter Obi. We must appreciate that actions will naturally have consequences.
“We must learn from our circumstances, we must learn from our environment and know that it may not be as easy as we think.
“We must also be warned now that the youths are coming up, stronger and more agitated for change.
“We must be able to give the impression to the general public, particularly the youths, that we are being fair to all aspirants and that as democrats, as progressives, we are not giving the impression that some people are being overpampered above others.”
This article was originally published on Nigeria News