Ten Northern governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday night asked President Muhammadu Buhari to back a southern aspirant for the presidential ticket of the APC.
The northern governors who made the call in a communique also advised northern aspirants to withdraw from the race.
This led to the withdrawal of Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State from the presidential race.
The communique said: “APC governors and political leaders from the northern states of Nigeria today met to review the political situation and to further support our party in providing progressive leadership amidst our national challenges.
“During our discussions, we welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation to governors and other stakeholders to contribute to the emergence of a strong presidential candidate for the APC.
“It is a question of honour for the APC, an obligation that is not in anyway affected by the decisions taken by another political party.
“We affirm that upholding this principle is in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country.”
They added: “We therefore wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern States.
“We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries.
“We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Badaru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
“The APC has a duty to ensure that the 2023 elections offer a nation-building moment, reaffirming that a democratic pathway to power exists for all who value cooperation and build national platforms.
“This moment calls for the most sober and inclusive approach to selecting our party’s candidate, and we call on all APC leaders to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.”