There were strong indications in the early hours of Tuesday that critical stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC may have shortlisted five of the party’s presidential aspirants for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Governors of the party had on Monday engaged in series of horse-trading, separately holding meetings along their regional composition and also separately meeting the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and then other members of the National Working Committee NWC.
Some of the names said to have been shortlisted for the President’s input, all from the South, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr Olukayode Fayemi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
The governors had earlier rejected a unilateral decision by Senator Adamu to impose Senate President Ahmad Lawan as consensus presidential candidate on the party.
The move was stoutly resisted by other members of the NWC as well as the state governors, the Tinubu Campaign Organization and several other stakeholders.
Although, the president has insisted that he has no preferred candidate, it was not clear if he would now chose from the names submitted to him.
It was gathered that Mr Osinbajo had come under subtle pressure on Monday night to step down for his estranged political godfather, Asiwaju Tinubu.
Parry sources say some of the aspirants are still likely to withdraw from the race after intense negotiations with stakeholders before the actual commencement of delegates voting on Tuesday night.