By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of the primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to pick its Presidential candidate for the 2023 Presidential election slated for Sunday, National delegates from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, Thursday endorsed the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
The development has however boosted the chances of Lawan clinching the Presidential ticket of the APC.
The endorsement took place at the Palms Hotel, Central Area, Abuja when the President of the Senate met with the National Delegates led by the Chairman of FCT chapter of APC , Hon Abdulmalik Usman.
Meanwhile, Senators who spoke at the venue of endorsement described Lawan’s Presidential aspiration as required saving grace for the ruling party in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
Addressing the delegates, Lawan who told them he is not an ethnic or geopolitical aspirant for the position of President, said that the contest should be that of content, of ideas and not a contest of where one comes from, adding that every other aspirant can serve the country well, but he can serve better against the backdrop of his experience and where he is coming from as a lawmaker at the National Assembly for twenty-three years.
Lawan noted that he is in the race as a pan Nigerian candidate and not one from any zone and that he wants to continue with all the successes of President Muhammadu Buhari and improve on those areas that he did not do much well, said. “the contest should be a contest of ideas and not where somebody comes from.
“I can serve better having practised governance at close range with the presidency within the last three years.
“I have four cardinal programmes revolving around security in all parts of the country, all-inclusive economy , agricultural revolution and functional education sector as bedrock of National Development
“Your votes for me at the Presidential primary, are investments for a better Nigeria in no distant time.”
In line with parliamentary procedures, Lawan put approval of his candidacy to voice votes of the delegates who all responded affirmatively.
In his earlier remarks on behalf of Senators on the team, Senator Sani Musa, APC, Niger East who noted that Lawan’s candidacy will serve as a saving grace for APC in the 2023 general election, said that what Nigerians need today is a pan Nigerian President and not a regional or zonal one.
Musa said, “Based on indices and realities on ground, as far as the 2023 general elections are concerned, issue of where an aspirant comes from is not necessary.
“What the country needs is stability and what APC as a party needs now is a candidate who can win the Presidential contest in 2023 through the required votes where they are .
“Lawan’s candidacy fits into that and will be a saving grace for the party from being pushed into opposition.”
On his part, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, APC Abia North who spoke in the same vein, declared that if voted for Lawan would be President for all as demonstrated with his leadership of the Senate within the last three years.
In his own remarks , the FCT APC Chairman said they are for Lawan but want the National Assembly under his Chairmanship to be more responsive to aspirations and yearnings of indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory as regards, ministerial slot, proper administrative structure in form of mayoral status.
He said, “National Delegates from FCT are no doubt , for you and will vote for you at the convention but as the Speaker of the FCT House of Assembly , we want all the critical demands forwarded to the National Assembly to be considered and approved.”