- Barring any last-minute changes, Ahmad Lawan will be joining the likes of Bola Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo to battle for the APC presidential ticket
- The Senate president is expected to announce his interest this week as the party will close the sale of its expression of interest and nomination forms on Friday
- Sources close to Lawan, who has never spoken in public about a presidential ambition, said he has the support of some powerful northerners
The president of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, is set to join other bigwigs in the race for President Muhammadu Buhari's seat.
According to a Premium Times report, barring a last-minute change of plans, Lawan will declare his intention to run for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) this week.
Sources close to the Senate president disclosed that he took a decision to make the declaration after Sallah at the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.
A source told Vanguard that Lawan had earlier slated Tuesday, May 3, to pick the expression of interest and nomination forms, but shifted it to another day because of the public holiday that was declared by the federal government.
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The sale of APC forms will close on Friday, May 6, and the Senate leader is expected to announce his interest before picking the forms.
It was learnt that the Senate president who has never spoken in public about a presidential ambition had no choice but to give in to the pressure from his zone, the northeast, and some very strong persons from the north.
A senator from the north who spoke with Vanguard said:
"We have succeeded in dragging the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan into the Presidential race to contest for the position and win... He will declare very soon."
More northerners to join 2023 presidential race
The Punch reports that some other northerners in the APC are also set to join the presidential race. A bloc in the ruling party is reportedly pushing some northerners to join the presidential race as a buffer against some top northern politicians in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Recall that the majority of the presidential aspirants in the PDP are from the north while that of APC are from the south.
When Lawan declares his interest and picks the form, he would become the second person from the northern part of the country to seek the APC presidential nomination after Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello.
APC chieftains who have declared interest in the presidential seat
By May 2023, Buhari would have finished his constitutionally approved second term and would not be eligible to contest again.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, at least six chieftains in the ruling party, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Minister of Transportation Hon Chibuike Amaechi have declared interest in the presidential seat.
Others are Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, former governor of Ogun state, Ibikunke Amosun, former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha and Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.