The President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has explained why he did not announce a successor before the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress which produced a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, as the candidate.
Tinubu defeated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, among other aspirants, to clinch the presidential ticket.
Speaking in Katsina when he paid a Sallah visit to the Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumin Kabir, at his palace on Saturday, Buhari, who recalled the circumstances surrounding the emergence of the former Lagos State governor, said some party leaders initially gave him a list of 30 presidential aspirants, out of which he was asked to pick a candidate of his choice.
He, however, said he chose to allow the delegates to pick the candidate of their choice as making his preference known would affect Osinbajo.
The President, who spoke in Hausa, said, “I was given a list of 30 aspirants to pick from. Most of them were my ministers and governors. So, who will I choose or support? One of the governors even came to see me and asked who they were to choose. If I do that, it would affect my vice-president because he was listening to our conversation.
“I then told them to choose who they wanted. So, they elected Tinubu as the APC presidential candidate. I hope that the way they (APC) conducted their congress, where they elected the party’s national chairman, the presidential candidate and how the presidential candidate picked his running mate, the forthcoming (2023) general elections would also be peaceful. I hope God will help us to conduct the general elections peacefully.”
The President, who also recalled that he contested the presidential election on three occasions and visited virtually all the 774 local government areas in the country from 2003 to 2015, pleaded with Nigerians to allow peace to reign during the 2023 general elections.
He also said he hoped and fervently prayed for peaceful elections in 2023.
“May God give us the wisdom to serve people more,” he added.
The Emir of Katsina had while welcoming the President to the palace, urged him to expedite action on the Kano-Katsina highway, the Kano-Katsina-Maradi railway and the Rimi windmill power generation project.
The emir said apart from contributing to the development of Katsina State, the projects would also create employment for residents.
Also speaking, the state Governor, Aminu Masari, said security agencies were doing all they could to tackle banditry and other forms of crime in the state
Masari, who later saw the President off to the Umaru Musa Yar’dua Airport where he later took off for Abuja in a Nigerian Air Force aircraft, called on residents to give security agents the necessary support.