A founding member of the ruling All Progressive Congress and former Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, has said that the party has candidates that are better qualified for the 2023 presidential race than former President Goodluck Jonathan.
This comes amid reports that the former president has emerged as a strong favourite at the presidency to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement Wednesday, 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 South than Jonathan, who was elected as president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He listed those eminently qualified as president in 2023 to include the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Kawu said: “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.”
Kawu said if APC is interested in giving his presidential ticket to the southern part of the country, there are stalwarts of the party who contributed immensely to its success.
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 said the era of imposition has gone forever in Nigeria’s politics, hence the few people calling for Jonathan’s candidature should be careful.