By Bashir Bello – Kano
A founding member of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC and former Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has on Wednesday tackled those rooting that the party’s 2023 presidential ticket be handed over to former President Goodluck Jonathan saying the party has better candidates in its midst for the plum job.
The former three-term member of the House of Representatives, Kawu who stated this in a statement he made available to newsmen, said pushing for Jonathan to become APC’s candidate would automatically mean the party has failed.
The former lawmaker, who also served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on House of Reps Matters, noted that the APC has qualified and credible candidates from the southern part giving names such as Amaechi, Osinbajo, Nwajiuba, who he said can eminently contest for the APC presidential ticket in 2023.
He further said that those rooting for the candidature of the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, for the 2023 presidential elections under the APC were doing a great disservice to the party and were enemies of the party.
“I don’t think those pushing for Jonathan to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari under our great party wish the APC well. Yes, Jonathan is a reformed democrat who deserves our commendation.
“But he had played his own role under the PDP. Nobody will take away the credit of conceding defeat as a sitting president and handing over power to the opposition peacefully from Jonathan. As a matter of fact, he is better than some of the people in our party.
“However, we cannot as a party say Jonathan should come and pick our presidential ticket when we have better candidates in our midst. That will mean we have failed,” he said.
Kawu said if APC is interested in giving his presidential ticket to the southern part of the country, there are stalwarts of the party that contributed immensely to the success of the party.
He said, “From example, from the South-South, the likes of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who served as the Director General of the APC presidential campaign twice should be considered.
“Amaechi is a team player that has demonstrated good leadership during his assignment as the DG twice, noting that has all it takes to lead the country better than Jonathan.
“Similarly, from the South West, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who has proved to be a worthy deputy to President Buhari since 2015 is eminently qualified to succeed his principal.
“Osinbajo has good knowledge of how to lead the country having worked closely with President Buhari.
“From the South East, we have the Minister of State for Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who has made a lot of sacrifices and made significant contributions to make the APC gain acceptance in his region has the credentials to be nominated as APC presidential candidate. Apart from having the age on his side, Chief Nwajiuba is a silent achiever as a politician of repute”.
Kawu added that the era of imposition has gone forever, hence the few people calling for Jonathan’s candidature should be careful.
“We cannot be talking about Jonathan when we have these people in our midst. Let them know that Nigerians know what they are doing,” Kawu however stated.