Former Military Dictator, General Buhari Gives Terms To Drop Presidential Ambition
FORMER Military Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011 general elections, General Muhammadu Buhari, has signified intention to drop his presidential ambition for 2015 election under the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) if a better and formidable candidate emerges as the party’s standard bearer.
The former Head of State, who spoke with journalists in Minna on Wednesday at the maiden edition of the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah Annual Lecture Series, pointed out that his intention to take a shot at the Presidency in 2015 was to answer calls by well-meaning Nigerians who are yearning for a genuine and transparent leadership. But he, however, said he was ready to rest his ambition under the yet-to-be-registered APC.
According to him: “I will be ready to step down if there is a formidable and better candidate. It is not about me but for the survival of the party and the country. APC is about ensuring internal democracy and transparency. So, whoever emerges is the person I will support and I will be ready to step down”.
General Buhari insisted that Nigerians must be rescued from the hands of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and this can only be achieved if a formidable candidate emerges as the standard bearer of the newly formed but yet-to-be registered APC in 2015 general elections.
Also speaking, the former presidential candidate of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2011 general elections and a leader of APC, Mallam Shehu Shekarau, who was at the lecture, said that APC will be democratic in electing its standard bearer for the forthcoming election despite the array of formidable presidential materials in the yet-to-be registered party.
According to the former Kano State governor, “it is too early to talk about who will be the party’s candidate or to have a presidential candidate. In APC, we will have to embrace democracy that will guide the party. Let us have the party on ground first and congresses will be held at various levels that will produce our candidates. At that point, anybody can contest and the party will support the best candidate that emerges”.
Shekarau, therefore, said that as soon as all the merging parties are through with their national conventions, a formal request will be made to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for APC registration to give room for other activities that will climax in the emergence of the party’s candidates.
Assuring that a government by APC will bring holistic change in government and in the nation, the APC chieftain said: “We are not talking of just dismantling the PDP, we want change. We are not just talking about change in democracy but change in attitude, change in approach, change in character, change in conducting the business of government. That’s why our slogan is change. We are determined to change Nigeria for better”.
Earlier at the lecture, which was organised by Integrity Icons International, titled: “The role of youth in sustaining democratic values in Nigeria”, Buhari said the media should be courageous and not shy away from keeping leaders and those in government on their toes.
He also called on leaders and those in position of authority to ensure a viable environment for people to thrive, adding that the media should constantly demand and put leaders in check.
“The moment there is nobody in the country to make our leaders create a viable environment, then the nation is in trouble,” Buhari warned.