Twenty-four out of Nigeria’s 36 governors have endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s candidature for the 2019 presidential election.
The endorsement comes as leadership crisis rocks the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
The 24 governors supportive of President Buhari’s second term are from APC, but there were also others from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in the South East, declared his and the colleagues’ position following a closed-door meeting with the president on Tuesday.
President Buhari had at the last APC National Executive Committee meeting, declared his intention to run for a second term in 2019.
Mr Okorocha said they communicated their support for the president’s re-election at the meeting.
President Buhari, who on Monday returned from the Commonwealth Heads of of State and Government Summit in London, received the governors at the presidential villa.
“We came to welcome him back and to commend him for his boldness and courage to declare his intention to run for second term as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which we the 24 governors of the APC duly support,’’ Mr Okorocha, who is the chairman of the APC governors’ forum, said.
“And we have come to encourage him that he must go ahead with his vision to rescue Nigeria from its present challenges,’’ he said.
Mr Okorocha dismissed the claim that the meeting was convened to endorse former governor of Edo Adams Oshiomole as next APC national chairman.
He, however, disclosed that the governors would soon make their stance known on the matter.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who was part of the meeting, also disclosed that a new APC leadership, from the ward to the federal level, might be decided through consensus.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also attended the meeting as was the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.