Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu has thrown his support behind the proposed consensus arrangement to pick the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election.
Okechukwu, a founding member of the ruling party said the move would starve off implosion in the party.
Speaking with reporters, the VON DG said APC National Leader APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu is in pole position to clinch the ticket of the party under consensus arrangement to vie for the presidency in 2023.
Tinubu is expected to contest for the presidency in 2023, even as his foot soldiers, spread across the country have been preparing the groundwork to smoothen his entry into the race.
Okechukwu said: “One slept well last night after reading the profound statement from the social media credited to the distinguished Senator John Akpanudedehe, our national secretary that at the appropriate time APC will come up with a consensus and agreeable presidential candidate that will fly its flag in 2023.
“First, it is refreshing that President Buhari is not for the 3rd term agenda. Second, in my slightest imagination, one doesn’t think any committee handling such delicate matter will miss out on our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the matrix.
“Methinks, he will be among the top aspirants to be considered, given his immense contribution to the success of our great party in 2015.”
Okechukwu also dispelled the notion that there was an agreement between President Buhari and Tinubu to succeed each other.
“As a member of the defunct CPC, I never heard of such an agreement and most importantly Mr President is not wont to or better put rarely enter into any formal or informal agreement with anybody. But he appreciates good deeds.
“All I know was that Asiwaju automatically could have been the Vice President if not for what lawyers will call force majeure. For our leadership warned against Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“Our leadership then argued that the Abiola/Kingibe Muslim/Muslim ticket which worked in 1993 may not work in 2015 if Buhari/Tinubu both Muslims were to run, as the scenario differs. That was how Asiwaju nominated Professor Yemi Osinbajo as a replacement,” he said.
It would be recalled that National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoehede, on Wednesday hinted through a statement that the party might be forced to adopt consensus arrangement to pick its presidential candidate in 2023.
Akpanudoedehe’s statement was in reaction to the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Muhammadu Buhari had a self-succession plan.
The APC scribe, however, stressed that the party would not allow individual ambitions to derail the Buhari administration, ahead of the 2023 presidential poll.
He said unlike the opposition PDP, the APC was a disciplined party, noting that the former was just been haunted by its past.
Akpanudoedehe recalled the third term agenda of the PDP while it was in power, pointing out that the APC would surprise it with the outcome of its planned congresses scheduled to commence on July 31.
He added: “After our congresses and the National Convention, we will shock them (PDP) by bringing a consensus and an agreeable candidate that will fly the flag of the party come 2023.
“APC has no third term agenda like PDP. What we are doing now is to stabilise the party and not allow individual ambitions to derail President Buhari’s administration.”