2023: Jigawa Governor Badaru declares as Buhari intensifies plot to retain presidency in Northern Nigeria
Governor Abubakar Badaru has declared his interest in running for president on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The Jigawa governor described himself as the best candidate for the job after paying N100 million to obtain the nomination forms of the ruling party.
“I will join the Presidential race since everyone knows I’m a highly qualified person to do the job,” he declared during a meeting of APC members at Government House, Dutse, on Tuesday night.
Mr Badaru’s move followed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to allow northern candidates to contest the ruling party’s presidential ticket, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr Buhari’s decision could threaten the party’s alliance of northern and southern politicians as it casts doubt over the zoning of the top ticket to southern aspirants on equity grounds.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Peoples Gazette Mr Buhari has become increasingly doubtful lately about the ability of a southern candidate to win a presidential election, especially if the opposition Peoples Democratic Party presents a candidate of northern origin.
Our sources said three northern governors, including Mr Badaru, had been asked to pick the nomination forms for the APC on the back of the president’s about-face.
Mr Badaru issued a categorical denial when The Gazette approached him about his plans to join the presidential race last week, and whether or not he had the president’s nod to do so.
An alliance between Mr Buhari and a southern coalition that included Bola Tinubu had propelled him to the presidency in 2015. Mr Tinubu, who has declared his intention to run for president, has been operating on the assumption that he would have an upper hand in nomination because Mr Buhari would support zoning the party’s ticket to the south.
On Tuesday, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu warned in a statement that failure to zone the APC ticket to southern candidates will constitute a betrayal that could fast-track the party’s disintegration.
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