By Livinus Nwabughiogu
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, disclosed that nine presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are set to step down to support the presidential ambition of the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan. APC so far has 28 presidential aspirants.
Kalu, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, also revealed that an influential presidential aspirant from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also planning to join the APC.
Kalu, who was the first to drop his presidential ambition in support of Lawan on the grounds of failure of APC to zone the presidential ticket to the Southeast, did not, however, disclose the names of the aspirants.
His words: “Lawan’s candidature will rock like hurricane. The issue of the APC presidential candidate will be settled even before the primaries.
“As I am talking to you, about nine presidential aspirants from our party have intimated me of their plans to drop their presidential ambition to support Ahmad Lawan.
“Does that not signify victory before the election? Lawan’s candidature will rock like hurricane. Lawan is from the Northeast and has similar sympathy with the Southeast that is yet to produce president.
“I have repeated my reasons for dropping my ambition for Lawan severally and I am sure Nigerians are aware already. We are also expecting an influential presidential aspirant from the opposition (PDP) to join the APC.
“So, you can see the party is very progressive and properly ready for Lawan’s emergence.”
On the call for postponement of primary elections by some political parties, the former Abia State governor said that he does not expect the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to listen to them.
He said that the parties were duly informed and should have prepared well as mandated by the electoral body.
“Extension of the dates will only support irresponsibility. Nigerians find it difficult to keep to time and appointments and that is why they would always seek for extra time.
“I support INEC to stick to their timetable otherwise we will be living with postponement after postponement. Such a trend is not healthy for a society and its people.
“We complain of indiscipline, but not ready to be practical about the requirements of discipline.
“INEC should discipline any party that fails to meet up, because that is the only way they can take their jobs seriously,” he suggested.