Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has declared his intentions to run for president in 2023.
Ayade made the declaration after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
Ayade said Buhari said he should run but advised him to consult widely with leaders of the party from south-south Nigeria.
The Cross River Governor defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress In May 2021, announcing the decision after a closed-door meeting with six APC governors and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, at the executive chamber of the Governor’s Office in Calabar.
The governors in attendance were Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa; Mai Mala Buni of Yobe; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi; Hope Uzodinma of Imo; and Simon Lalong of Plateau.
Following his declaration contest for the APC presidential ticket, Ayade said he would concentrate on power, security and economy if he eventually emerges as Nigeria’s President.
Ayade joins a long list of politicians who have signified interest to run on the platform of the APC, which include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu; ex-governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
But according to Ayade, he was ready to align with any candidate of Buhari’s choice.
He also said he would support former President Goodluck Jonathan if he is chosen as the presidential candidate of the party.
SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK