Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has said the increasing number of aspirants vying for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is good for democracy.
Tinubu said the rising number of the APC presidential aspirants would put all contenders on their toes.
The national leader of the ruling party said this after his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday night.
He, however, dismissed fears that having many contenders could trigger a post-primary crisis in the APC.
As of Wednesday, May 4, 2022, no fewer than 13 aspirants have obtained the APC presidential nomination forms.
On Wednesday, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; and former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; declared their intentions to contest the 2023 presidential election.
Former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, last week, notified the Senate of his intention to run for the 2023 presidency.
Other aspirants, who have declared their intentions to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige; and Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Others are former Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Sen. Orji Kalu (Abia); Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Ben Ayade (Cross River), and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
There were indications that more presidential aspirants might take advantage of the four-day extension of the sale of the APC nomination forms to join the race.
The party has extended the deadline from May 6 to May 10.
Speaking on the increasing number of the APC presidential aspirants, Tinubu said: “The more the merrier. The more they come, the more challenging it becomes for you to think deeply, focus on issues and be ready to serve Nigeria.
“It’s all about service, nothing else. Think wisely, get committed to your thinking to serve the nation and bring progress and prosperity to the lives of Nigerians.
“It’s good for the country for so many of us to aspire to want to lead; we’re not abandoning our nation. But there’s only one chair and one possibility. We will do that,” the former governor stated.
When asked about the fears being expressed about the unity of APC, Tinubu said the ruling party would remain intact and united after its presidential primary election, adding that President Buhari had shown that he was in support of a transparent democratic process.
He said: “We are sure that we will remain united. You know our symbol is the broom; you don’t break it as you go.
“Nigeria requires commitment, a uniform system, and a stable country and that is the only way we can be very proud of Nigeria.
“The President has shown a great example of leadership, gave us the freedom to say you want to run, you want to attempt, go ahead.
“He is a democrat and if we are running a constitutional democracy, you don’t hinder the desire, the wish of other people,” the APC national leader added.