This is according to a source who said that the President is critically studying the aspirants, their attitudes, actions, backgrounds, and others before either making his pronouncement on the issue or directing his trusted aides on whom to queue behind them as reported by PUNCH.
The source revealed that Buhari will likely make his choice known in May before the APC presidential primary which is set to hold next month.
As the momentum gathered, individuals who have shown interest to succeed the president under the APC are: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi; a former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu; and an ex-governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
In an interview with Channels TV in January, the president when asked about his choice ahead of the 2023 presidential election said he cannot name anyone that the candidate might be “eliminated” if he revealed the identity. He however added that he has no special interest in the 2023 election.
The APC in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, in April, notified the electoral body of the dates and schedule of its primaries for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general elections.
According to the letter, the ruling party’s presidential primary is fixed for May 30 and 31, 2022.
However, the Presidency source said there was no way Buhari would allow all the APC presidential aspirants to go into the race without having an input.
He said, “You saw how he handled the race for the chairmanship of the party? Was it rancorous? No, it was not. The President knows what to do at the right time. The man, who is the national chairman of the party today, was not even in the race in the beginning. And he said so when he assumed office. He said he was never interested about a month before the election.
“The President knows the characters of those in the race. He knows their antecedents and what they can do or how they will behave when they get to power. So, he will never allow the party to go into the primary without giving direction. Have you ever seen an incumbent, who is not interested in who his political party will present as his likely successor? Even the governors are equally doing the same thing at the state level.
“So, I am sure the President will speak next month before the presidential primary. He is a tactician. He knows how to handle such a delicate matter,” he concluded.