The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday confirmed that it has adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as sole candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
National Secretary of the ruling party, Maimala Buni, disclosed this yesterday while speaking to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The APC scribe, however, noted that the position should not be seen as a vitiation of the decision of other aspirants on the party’s platform.
He said those who are interested in the presidential position were also free to pick the nomination form, but that the National Executive Council (NEC) had already endorsed President Buhari for the number one post for the party.
Bunu had earlier accompanied a group under the auspices of the National Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) to present the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2019 election to the President.
The APC National Secretary, who was joined by the Director-General of Buhari’s Campaign Committee and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and spokesman of the campaign, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the NEC of the party had since endorsed the President and by extension, all members of the party have done so.
He said: “Once the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party passes a vote of confidence in the President, that President stands accepted because the NEC is the highest organ of the party and it met to take the decision, where every interest was represented. So, the NEC of the APC has passed a vote of confidence in our President and that means every APC member has endorsed him.”
The APC national secretary argued that the development in the party was not different as the same scenario also obtained in democratic settings in other advanced countries.
“In advanced democracy, once the NEC of a party passes vote of confidence in the President, nobody contest against the President. The President has been accepted,” Bubu said.
He said that the President will be given the choice of first refusal and that as he had accepted the nomination form, it meant that he was the party’s candidate in next year’s election.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has described politicians who defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as selfish and weak.
The President said the defectors, for a long time, were not in tune with the vision of his administration, which is to reform the country, fight corruption, create jobs for the youth and revive the economy.
Buhari was referring to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Abdufatai Ahmed (Kwara) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) as well as over 50 senators and members of the House of Representatives.
President Buhari spoke yesterday while accepting the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the APC donated to him by a group known as Nigerian Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He expressed gratitude for being honoured by the youth groups drawn from different parts of the country.
Buhari, who said that his vision to rescue the nation began in 2002, explained that the country reached a hopeless state in 2006, hence his decision to contest for the presidential position in 2007.
According to him, his decision was predicated on the state of hopelessness in the country.
The President, who also said it was unfortunate that the selfish interest of elected leaders superseded national interest, pointed out that the 2007 election in the country was a colossal disgrace.
“I am honoured today to receive youths from all over the country contributing to buy the form for me. The weakest, whose sense of expectation do not align with our vision, have exited our party,” he said.
While noting that corruption was fighting back, Buhari said: “We now have a party of strong and patriotic people who are ready to work for a strong Nigeria.”
The President listed his achievements since assumption of office to include completion of rail projects and new ones under construction, government support to farmers, as well as the rehabilitation of fertilizer plants, introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which he said has helped the administration to tackle the menace of stealing in public service, as well as provision of jobs and cash for the most vulnerable Nigerians.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Deputy Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT), NCAN, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the members of the group, who facilitated the purchase of the forms for the President, were made up of three million Nigerians after an assessment of the performance of President Buhari.
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