Northern APC Governors have just forwarded the names of five southern aspirants to the President Muhammadu Buhari from which consideration should be made for a consensus candidate.
The development is a follow-up on their resolution to zone the party’s Presidential ticket to the south.
True to that resolution, aspirants from the South dominated the list.
The list has the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; and Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, confirmed the development.
He said those whose names were submitted had been graded by the party screening committee based on specified requirements.
Although the Plateau State Governor also noted that the Northern Governors, being only one section of the party, the shortlist will not bar other aspirants from contesting the primaries.
The governors had, on Monday, met with Buhari to officially inform him of their stance to zone the ticket to the south.
The Northern Governors met the president around the same time the APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, announced that President Buhari had endorsed Senate President Ahmed Lawan as the consensus candidate.
The Presidency immediately denied the announcement, saying that Buhari, at the time, had not anointed any candidate.
The PUNCH had reported that Buhari asked the governors to reduce the number of aspirants after consultations.
A media aide to one of the governors confirmed that aspirants were shortlisted without giving their names.
He, however, emphasised that no one was disqualified nor eliminated from the primary.
“Yes, they shortlisted but never disqualified or eliminated any aspirant. What they did is similar to what the screening committee did. They just recommended aspirants that will make APC remain in power,” Lalong said.