The Governor Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade says President Muhammadu Buhari will determine the aspirant the ruling All Progressives Congress would present for the 2023 presidential election.
Ayade, in an interview with the BBC on Friday, February 11, 2022, said he believed the president would make the right decision in the interest of the nation.
He said “I believe the President will do the right thing for the interest of this nation. As far as I know, Buhari, to a large extent, would be the one to decide for the party (APC), the person that will succeed him. If he sees Osinbajo as the right candidate, having worked with him for eight years, I will support him. He is a man of good conscience who is fair and sensitive. That tells you that he truly belongs to no one but belongs to everyone.”
On the presidential ambition of APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ayade said Tinubu has the right to vie for presidency considering his support for Buhari in 2015 and 2019.
The governor said, “Anybody that has come to contest from the South is in his/her right to do so. More people will still come out. If you ask me about Tinubu, I would say it is correct that he came out, because he fought and worked hard and supported Buhari to put this government that is in place. Such a man will expect that since we are talking about a southern presidency, let him try to contest.
“Anyone that is saying he is not supposed to declare his intention is not doing the right thing. He should try his best. I cannot say it is not good. I can’t say that. I belong to a party, and the party will calculate. If the party says it is Tinubu, I will support him. If the party decides to go with someone else, I will lead the convoy that will go and beg Tinubu about the party’s decision. This is because I know that the man has worked hard for this party, and I have a conscience.
“If you see someone that has struggled like that to make the party stand then you will now say, ‘Go, we don’t need you again. You are too old.’ It is not good. I won’t do that!”
The governor further said he was still waiting on the party’s decision on the 2023 presidency and would support the party’s choice irrespective of who he is.