2023: If State Governors Have Prerogatives To Choose Successors, What Is Wrong With President's

By Adewale Sam, Ilorin.

Politics is widely acknowledged to be nothing more than a game largely played on the field of interest. However, it is part of wisdom that when pushing interests through opinions, there should be an employment of simple logic and fact as that is the only way it could come out impeccable against such emerging opinions faulting President Mohammedu Buhari's decision to name his successor with an appeal to the Progressive governors to offer their collective supports.


It appears illogical that some people have come out against the president naming a successor when the All Progressive Congress' internal policy allowed ‘first term governors who have served credibly well …to stand for re-election’ and ‘second term governors … accorded the privilege of promoting successors that are capable of driving their visions’.

Worryingly, the president's astute move is being thwarted by known party chieftains who are not supposed to be unfamiliar with the workings of the party or the benefit of unanimous consent.

Salihu Lukman, National Vice Chairman, North-West, in the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC, for example, criticized the move for a successor in an open letter to the President on Wednesday in Abuja. The letter came after the President's address at a consultative meeting with Progressive Governors on Tuesday, where he (the President) had spoken of the internal policies of the APC and solicited "reciprocity and support of Governors and other stakeholders in picking" his successor, "who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023."

Lukman, in his letter titled “Succession and 2023 APC Presidential Candidate: Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari,” urged the President to be "conscious of his legacies and avoid falling into the temptation of unilaterally picking his successor," noting that President Buhari should not emulate what he described as former President Olusegun Obasanjo's anti-democratic credentials in foisting his successor, late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, on his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. With the writing, one is left to wonder if the late Musa Yar'Adua ended up being a bad leader after his emergence as president with Obasanjo's backing.

In short, the reference provides yet another reason why the APC internal policy of allowing governors to select a successor who they are confident will carry on their visions should be maintained, with the president having the same option.

Mr. President, in all sincerity, has committed no sin against the party or the democratic process by seeking the governors' support in his move to appoint a successor. Of course, this is not to rule over the governors and party leaders. This is why his request is being presented as an appeal.

Furthermore, whoever the president deems fit to carry on his vision for the country will face a democratic general election, which will eventually produce our dear country's next president.

What should matter most to party leaders, governors, and Nigerians is the competence of whoever the President chooses to support. If it turns out to be a person of notable achievements in major areas such as religion, infrastructure, security, education, and women and youth participation in governance, Nigerians should rejoice and have hope for a better tomorrow.

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