As the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari draws to an end on May 29, 2023, some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have declared their intention to succeed the “Man from Daura.”
One thing common to all these aspirants is their desire to govern the country. Some of these politicians have promised to continue with the Buhari legacies, while others have their own agenda.
APC members that have declared their presidential bid include the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Chief Moses Chia Ayom and Ihechukwu Dallas Chima.
In this report, Naija News will be looking at these politicians that have declared their presidential ambition.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Tinubu is the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State. He governed the South West state from 1999 to 2007. He was instrumental in the emergence of the ruling party in 2014.
On 10 January 2022, Tinubu, who is one of the top contenders for the presidency, visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to inform him of his presidential ambition.
Speaking to State Correspondents after a meeting with the President, Tinubu stated that his ambition to be President has been a life-long ambition. He noted that what he did in Lagos in his time as Governor, he has the capacity to do in the entire country.
While noting that he is yet to formally disclose his ambition, Tinubu stated that he was still in consultations with various individuals and groups across the country.
Following his declaration of his presidential bid, Tinubu met with the former Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Governor of Nigeria State, Sani Bello.
Governor Dave Umahi
The Chairman, South-East Governors Forum made this known in a chat with State Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Umahi stated that he is not disturbed about the presidential ambition of the APC National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, adding that the presidential race is not about might or popularity.
In an interview with Arise News, Umahi asked the ruling APC to zone its presidential ticket in 2023 to the South-East zone in the interest of equity and fairness.
He disclosed that zoning the ticket to the region would address the sentiment being expressed by all the sectors of the society and move the nation forward. Umahi, however, stated that he “will not feel any sense of injustice” if the ruling party does not zone its presidential ticket to his region.
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
Former Governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, is one of the top contenders for the APC presidential candidacy. On January 18, Kalu informed President Buhari of his presidential ambition during a visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday night.
The chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said he visited Buhari to also discuss some major national issues with him, noting he was satisfied with their conversation.
Kalu said it is time for the South-East region to produce the next President, adding that the region has enough credible and qualified candidates to succeed Buhari.
According to the former governor, he is the most prepared presidential candidate in the country, adding that he is only waiting for the APC to zone its ticket to the South East.
Kalu stated that he has nothing against Tinubu’s aspiration, saying that the ambition of the APC leader does not stop the Igbo presidency.
Bello is the current governor of Kogi State and his tenure expires on the 29th May 2023. Governor Bello is a chieftain of the ruling APC and a strong member of the Progressives Governors Forum.
The Kogi governor, who had been rumoured to be interested in becoming the President, finally announced his intention to run for the 2023 presidency under the APC on January 20, 2022.
He made the declaration during a meeting with APC legislators as well as women groups from the North-East subregion which was held in Bauchi at Hazibal hotel on Thursday.
Bello disclosed his intention to succeed President Buhari because the country deserves better and purposeful leadership from the youth.
Moses Chia Ayom
Ayom is a stalwart of the ruling APC from Benue State and an economist. On January 18, Ayom wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari informing him about his aspiration to contest the 2023 presidential poll.
The APC member said his decision to join the race is premised on President Buhari’s excellent performance and the very solid trajectory of development his policies have placed Nigeria on.
Ayom cited the example of how his trip with President Buhari to China alongside other key industrialists prompted a landmark partnership between his company and a Chinese company with massive potential to transform Nigeria’s mining sector was initiated.
The presidential aspirant explained that the deal provided for the construction and equipping of the largest mining plant in Africa. He said the actualization of this partnership will lead to the creation of jobs, wealth, and inclusive growth for millions of Nigerians.
Ihechukwu Dallas Chima
Chima is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Ebony-born politician announced his intention to contest for the 2023 Presidency in December 2021.
During his declaration of his presidential bid, Chima declared that big names like Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Senator Rochas Okorocha are not enough to stop him from clinching the APC Presidential ticket.
He maintained that the new generation of leaders are emerging to take over the governance in the country, stressing that old hands and big names should give way to the younger politicians.
The presidential aspirant opined that the old politicians have set Nigeria back as a non-productive and wasteful nation and that they should have no place in its reconstruction.
Who will get the presidential ticket if the APC? Only time will tell. Whoever gets it must prepare to provide a sellable manifesto to Nigerians in other to receive the required votes to succeed President Buhari in 2023.