— Sep 29, 2014.
Some powerful forces loyal to General Muhammadu Buhari have intensified lobbying for the adoption of their principal as the consensus presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the presidential primaries slated for 2nd December.
Although the Atiku Campaign Organisation has resolved not to let it stand because it is unconstitutional, the Buhari Campaign Organisation argues that it is lawful and that the party used it in the composition of most of its national officers during the last congresses and convention.
Meanwhile, General Buhari will publicly make known his intention to contest once again the presidential poll slated for February 2015, on 8th October instead of this week as earlier expected because of Sallah celebrations.
At the NEC meeting held in Abuja last week, the leadership of the party could not resolve whether to use Direct primary or Indirect primary, even as the advocates of consensus candidacy for Buhari strongly believe it is the option that could promote unity and understanding among the chieftains of the party.
One of the NEC members and a political ally of Buhari who spoke with journalists after the meeting on condition of anonymity, said consensus primary remains the best option for APC.
“It is on record that more than 80% of the ward, local government area and state congresses which produced the current executives of our great party were conducted through consensual arrangement. And more than 95% of the current National Executive Committee were elected via consensus,” he said.
Speaking further, the APC chieftain said, “When one considers the bitterness, rancour and bad blood indirect primary will most likely generate, it becomes safer to work towards a consensual agreement. We must at all times bear in mind that we are being hunted and that those who boasted to rule Nigeria for 60 years uninterrupted are still hell bent to scuttle the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for genuine ideological regime change”.
But the advocates of consensus are likely going to face a stiff opposition from the Atiku Campaign Organisation as it has resolved not to welcome it because it is against the Electoral Law.
Its spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the organisation is not scared of any method adopted but is opposed to “any undemocratic process going by the name of consensus, imposition or anointment”.
Barely 24 hours after the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, formally declared intention to contest the presidential election come 2015, youth groups from across the North converged on Kaduna to perfect strategies on how to convince the other aspirants under the APC to shelve their ambitions for now and support Atiku whom they said have more acceptability.
Specifically, leaders of the youth delegation from the Federal Capital Territory and Plateau State, Alhaji Imrana Nas and Mr James respectively, said they had resolved at the Arewa Youth Leaders and Stakeholders’ Summit led by Murtala Abubakar to support the ambition of Atiku Abubakar because he is detribalised, nationally accepted and would provide quality leadership if voted as president in 2015.
Buhari, they argued, had “been stigmatised as a religiously oriented politician” who will not give the ruling PDP any challenge because they know him as a serial loser during presidential elections.
Other speakers at the occasion from the Middle Belt region, concluded that they would rally round the Turaki of Adamawa who had, during his formal declaration in Abuja, said he would focus on the youths because they are good partners in the Nigeria project.