President Muhammadu Buhari late Saturday met with All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants at the State House, Abuja.
The Nigerian leader urged them to hold discussions, and come up with a formidable candidate before the primary election starting on Monday.
The President said the meeting was a continuation of ongoing consultative process aimed at ensuring a smooth and strategic emergence of a standard bearer.
Buhari saluted the aspirants for their “courage and selfless spirit” in volunteering to serve in the highest office of the land.
On APC’s victories in 2015 and 2019, he said they were achieved through unity of purpose, strategic alignment, consultation, fairness, determination and effective leadership.
In both instances, he continued, national and party interests were “overriding factors in our deliberations and decision-making”.
Buhari said with 2023 approaching, the party should become more aware of the changing environment, be responsive to the yearnings of citizens, re-evaluate strategy and strengthen internal mechanisms.
The President revealed that the consultation he had held with stakeholders began with APC Governors.
The President disclosed informing them to go into the election with strength, unity of purpose and to present an individual who will give Nigerians a sense of hope, while ensuring victory for the party.
Nothing that the parley with aspirants was the second in the series, the President hinted he would preside over further talks.
“I extend a similar reminder to all of you distinguished aspirants. Our choice of flag bearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges.
“I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, to build a consensus in a manner that would help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members”, he said.
Buhari further told the gathering that steps were being taken to ensure that the unity and cohesion of the party were sustained.