The Presidency has revealed that the only candidates , to get the backing of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the campaigns leading to next year’s general elections, would be the candidates presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
With barely one month to the kick-off of campaigns on September 28, 2022, the presidency also distanced itself from defectors as well as aspirants who are still in legal contention with the APC candidates already nominated for various electoral offices.
In a statement by Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘For 2023, no Villa candidates, only APC candidates’, the Presidency also warned Presidential Villa officials against loose talk that could escalate political tensions within and outside the party.
“Our stand is clear, only those candidates fielded by the All Progressives Candidates will enjoy the support of the President and they are the ones he will campaign for. The Presidency wishes to put it on record, and at the same time, reassure faithful party members that President Muhammadu Buhari remains a “disciplined soldier” of the All Progressives Congress, and will, in all the coming elections, support only those candidates fielded by the party and no other.
“This is a warning to decamped party members and some others who are still in court against official candidates of the APC that they are on their own and nobody outside the party tent should link what they are doing to President Buhari.
“The President wishes to be quoted as saying that he is the ‘occupant of the high office of the President by the Grace of God who used the instrumentality of the APC to bring him to power with a historic verdict in 2015.’
“In 2019, he was returned with a bigger majority. For the first time, a non-PDP government came to power with a huge majority after 16 years of the Fourth Republic. His constant refrain is: ‘I will not betray or undermine my party by supporting candidates other than those of the APC.’”
Shehu who clarified that the statement is not targeted at any particular candidate, said that, “however, we welcome support for our candidates at all levels by other parties.”