After reports on the announcement of Nigerian Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), by Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman of the party, it has left a lot of Nigerians asking, what does a consensus candidate mean?
Although the party is also said to have agreed that other presidential hopefuls will be allowed to participate in the presidential primary, scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
This development comes after a meeting held with APC governors from the northern region in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier today, Monday, June 6, 2022.
Who is a consensus candidate?
According to Ajayi Michael Abayomi from tribuneonlineng, “Consensus candidate is a product of imposition. By imposition, political godfathers and party mini gods practically pick and choose favored candidates and godsons at will without any concern for the good and progress of the party. Such godfathers prefer their loyalists to popular candidates with no regards to members’ interest or choice. Hence they forget the key ingredient of internal democracy is the avoidance of imposition of candidates on the party.
Every candidate interested in an elective office should have the opportunity to test his popularity within his party by democratically – conducted primaries which will produce the most popular candidate for the election proper.
Anything short of this is a total detour from democratic norms and this practice is a threat to democracy as it does not give room for party members to have a say in the choice of candidates to stand for the main election. It is breach of the fundamental rights of party members to deny them the right to elect, the candidates of their choice.”
Buhari gave some hint about this story last week, and many assume that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, will turn out to be Buhari’s “successor”. He asked them to “come up with a formidable” consensus candidate.
“I wish to remind you that our choice of flagbearer must be formidable, appealing to the electorate across the board and should command such ability to unify the country and capacity to address our critical challenges,” the president had said.
If this story is true, one might question the if this choice commands such ability to unify the country at this current state.