The All Progressives Congress (APC) Professionals Forum has advised that the party’s 2023 presidential running mate should have the necessary electoral clout to add value to its presidential ticket.

Mr. Nkem Okeke, Chairman of the Board of Trustee (BoT) of the forum gave the advice at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.

He said that religious and tribal sentiments should not be the basis for picking a vice presidential candidate for the party.

He congratulated Sen. Bola Tinubu for emerging as the APC 2023 presidential candidate at its just concluded National Convention and Presidential Primary Election.

Okeke also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, the party’s leadership and its members on the success of the primary election.

He particularly thanked Buhari for his non-interference in the process leading to the democratic and transparent convention.

He added that the forum was elated by Tinubu’s overwhelming victory and acceptance by party members at the convention.

“For us, it re-echoes his credibility as a performer, technocrat and democrat and with his legislative and executive background coupled with his private sector experience.

“We are convinced that he will move our dear country to a higher dimension of growth and prosperity and build on the achievements of Buhari,” he said.

He lauded Tinubu for his goodwill gesture towards those who contested the party’s presidential ticket with him at the convention.

He, however, called on the former two-term governor of Lagos State to prioritise the roles and inclusion of professionals in his campaign ahead of 2023 general elections.

Okeke said with Tinubu at the helm of affairs, the forum was already excited at the prospects of professionals in the party getting roles that suit their core competencies in governance.

This, he said, was considering his antecedents as Lagos State governor, adding that there was no doubt about his capacity and capabilities as APC presidential candidate.

He recalled that Tinubu was widely credited with laying the foundation for a viable Lagos, its growing economy and its status as a centre of attraction for foreign and local investments.

“In the same vain, we want to state categorically that members of APC Professionals Forum endorse the democratic and transparent process that produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as our presidential candidate.

“We are willing to mobilise all professionals within the party and across the country to ensure that the winning streak that began in 2015 continues in 2023,” he said.

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The forum’s BoT chairman noted that the success of the party`s primaries had once again proved its doubters wrong on its survival and sustainability in the post-Buhari era.

He urged members of the party to rally round Tinubu and its leaders as they worked towards picking a running mate.

“The forum pledges our 100 per cent support and commitment to massively mobilise for our candidate in the run up to the 2023 presidential election.

“We urge the party leadership to use the success of the primaries as a turning point to re-engineer APC as an ideological party, not just a platform to win elections,” Okeke said.

He assured that the forum would continue its flagship programme; the APC scorecard with political office holders to showcase their achievements to the public ahead of the 2023 general elections.(NAN)