2023: Jubilation As APC endorses Ahmad Lawan as consensus candidate
Majority of Nigerians have expressed their joy following the declaration of the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan as the consensus candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress by the leadership of the party on Monday afternoon.
The party through its national Chairman , Abdullahi Adamu announced the development on Monday at the meeting of the party’s national working committee (NWC), held in Abuja.
The declaration is coming a day before the APC’s convention billed to elect its presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
Although President Buhari has continued to maintain his position in favour of a consensus arrangement, there has previously not been a meeting of minds on consensus among the 23 presidential aspirants.
The development has since been greeted with cheers from a cross section of Nigerians across the country including party stakeholders.
Expressing their Joy, they congratulated the party Chairman Adamu and the party saying that it was a good development for the party. Chuks Ezinwa wrote; Congratulation Adamu. Is not a bad idea Obasanjo thoses or when he singlehandedly anointed Yaradua as PDP candidate”.
Adamu Saliu wrote; The best news I’ve ever heard, Congratulations Lawan.
Muhammad Farouk thanked the party for taking its decision, saying that Lawan’s candidature is a big boost for the party to emerge victorious.
The party had postponed its special convention for the presidential primary from Sunday, 29 – Monday, 30 May, 2022, to Monday, 6 – Wednesday, 8 June, 2022 after the Independent National Electoral Commission’s extended the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates by political parties.
While the National Chairman is yet to deny or offer any clarification on the alleged declaration, it is necessary to state that such a declaration is a legal impossibility. This is because the under the regime of the Electoral Act 2022, consensus, though provided for as one of the means by which a political party may produce its candidate, must specifically occur in a precise form.
Section 84(9) (10) and (11) of the Electoral Act 2022 are the relevant provisions and they state as follows:
“(9) A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirant for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate”.
Where a political party is unable to secure a written consent of all cleared aspirants for the purpose of a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective
(11) A special convention or nomination congress shall be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at designated centers at the National, State, Senatorial, Federal and State Constituencies, as the case may be”.
Instructively, none of the above conditions have occurred in respect of producing the presidential candidate of the APC. Therefore, any declaration of a consensus candidate would be premature and a violation of extant provisions of the law.