Former Head of State, and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday in Abuja formally declared his intention to seek his party’s nomination to contest next year’s presidential election, saying the country is tired of 15 years of purposeless leadership by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The expression of Buhari’s intention is coming exactly one week after former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, another presidential aspirant declared to run for
the plum office on the party’s platform.
By this development, Buhari has become the second person to declare his presidential ambition in the party.
Addressing a crowd of supporters under the aegis of Buhari Support Group Centre in Abuja, the former military ruler said he would make formal statement on his intention soon.
He however urged his supporters to be ready to take the support beyond his person to ensure victory for APC.
He said: “Within the next few weeks, the party will hold its convention to choose the flag bearers who will stand election on its platform. Your duty as supporters and volunteers will, among other things, include participation in the preparation for these primary elections and seeing to their successful conclusion and getting yourselves ready to do all it takes to wrest power from the PDP.
“With your support, I intend to offer myself for the position of the president of the republic on the platform of our great party. I intend to make a formal announcement soon and I hope I can count on your continuing support and sacrifice.
“However, I would like to point out to you that to be more meaningful, your support must extend beyond my person and always be available to the party and all those the party puts forwards; because it is the party that is the platform.
“You must remember at all times that APC is a party with several qualified people for each and all the positions that will be contested, including that of the president.
“It is the primaries that will determine who eventually represents the party in which capacity. If I get the nomination, I expect you will redouble your effort and commitment until we clinch the presidency. But in the event that it happens to be one of the other aspirants who wins, I will expect you as good party men to extend to him your total support.
We are a united party, and united we shall remain because our strength lies in our unity.”
Apparently tired of having his name associated with pre and post election violence, Buhari warned his followers to desist from any unruly behaviors.
“For this and for other reasons, I must warm all my supporters, volunteers and other well-wishes within the party or even out of it not to insult or be rude to any other aspirant or party leader on my behalf.
“My supporters must not engage in any kind of behavior or conduct that will tarnish the image of any leader or promote division or rancour within the ranks of the party. Whoever does that should know he or she is working for the enemy”, he said.
…Says we are in 15 years of PDP purposeless leadership
Taking a swipe at the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he said the party in its 15 years of existence was clueless about the challenges facing the country. According to him, change was imminent.
His words: “Today, we are in the 15th year of purposeless leadership by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and all we have seen is unprecedented deterioration in the security and law and order, astronomical rise in the incidence and intensity of corruption, and in the failure of governance.
“And as we reach this last lap of the journey, I would like to request that we concentrate all our effort and energy toward realising and achieving change in how this country is run. The only way to meaningful change in this country is to vote the PDP out of power to which it was never legitimately elected, anyway.”
…Maintains APC is hope of Nigerians
Buhari who has been a contender for the position since 2003 boasted that APC was the alternative party Nigerians were waiting for.
He said: “We are the alternative the nation has been waiting for. We are committed to democracy and entrenching its culture in Nigeria. We are committed to the principles of good governance and making them work in this country. We are committed to public probity and entrenching a culture of accountability in the conduct of government business.”
“Because we are committed to developing the potentials of this nation into true greatness, we shall bring about transformative change in this country-change in the way things are done and change in the way things are undone; change in the way this nation is left unsecured and mismanaged; and change in the way corruption is pampered and worshipped; and we shall install a culture of openness in the public affairs. We shall develop this land and go after prosperity and get it for our long-suffering people.”