The decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to impose a successor on the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not have gone down well with party members.
As a group, the National Stakeholders have warned that the party risks losing the presidential election in 2023.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while meeting with governors elected on the platform of APC on Tuesday in Abuja, informed them of his intention to choose his successor.
But the convener of the group, Mr. Aliyu Audu, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said what guarantees victory for many politicians is not just who the candidate is but the process through which they emerge.
It said: “If the process is flawed so much as to leave members disenchanted, you are already on your way to losing the election.”
The group stressed that while the president was free to choose his choice of an aspirant, it warned that it should not amount to an imposition.
The group added that if Buhari was influenced by what was obtainable in the states where governors brazenly handpick aspirants at different elections, it was imperative to remind the president that he was supposed to be the moral compass for the members of the party and Nigerians as a whole.
The group was of the opinion that the best legacy Buhari could leave for the APC and Nigeria as a whole was the legacy of a deeply entrenched democratic process where Nigerians can freely choose who represents them at whatever level in free, fair, credible, and transparent processes.
For the APC to avoid finding itself on this path, it must not make the mistake of forcing anyone on the party in whatever guise. The president is free and has the right to have his choice of candidate, but let everyone be made to test their popularity in the field so that representatives of the party in the form of delegates will choose who they deem to be the best, most qualified, and most popular to win us the 2023 presidential election. ”
The group said one wonders what has informed the change of position of the president on how his successor or any other elected official should emerge.