APC to present southern presidential candidate for 2023 election – El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election is expected to come from the southern region of the country.
El-Rufai, who spoke at Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, said he is confident that the APC candidate will win the presidential election.
The Kaduna State governor, however, said the decision on which part of southern Nigeria to produce its candidate will be decided by the regional caucus within the party and believes the APC will win a lot of governorship seats.
“It is up to the southern caucus of the APC to now propose to us an acceptable candidate,” El-Rufai said.
“I believe that in 2023, the APC is going to win the presidential election as well as the majority of the governorship elections.”
Former Lagos State governor and APC chieftain Bola Tinubu from South West is among the party’s leading presidential hopefuls to clinch the party ticket.
Ebonyi State governor Dave Umahi and Senators Rochas Okorocha and Orji Uzor Kalu, all from the South East, have also indicated intentions to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
El-Rufai is among persons rumoured to be eyeing the presidency with campaign posters bearing his photograph in some Nigerian cities.
But the Kaduna State governor dispelled the rumours of contesting in the coming elections due to age-related fatigue but noted that he could change his mind if President Muhammadu Buhari convinces him to contest.
“I’m physically tired because I do take my work seriously. For the last eight years, I’ve worked myself flat out and I’m not young anymore,” El-Rufai said.
“I’ll be 63 next year. So I prefer to look at other options to contribute to the development of my country but of course, I didn’t want to run for Governor but the President insisted so if he insists that I do something I have so much regard for him and his judgement that I’ll do it even reluctantly.”
The APC is yet to announce the timetable for the conduct of its primary elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in February said the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday, February 25, 2023 as against February 18 earlier announced, while governorship and state houses of assembly elections hold on March 11, 2023.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said that the new time frame is to allow for conformity with the provisions of the Electoral law, which stipulates that elections notice be published at least 360 days to the elections.