The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday, said that President Muhammadu Buhari is the only member of the party who has so far indicated interest to fly its presidential ticket. Abdullahi said they were delighted that President Buhari had finally declared his intention to re-contest for the presidency.
Abdullahi who stated the party’s position in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State, said the declaration had given the party a kind of direction because the 2019 general elections were around the corner.
He said the party was initially not too clear about the direction the president wanted its members to go, but that with his declaration, they had seen a clear signal for the way forward.
He further said Buhari’s declaration had received spontaneous reaction from the NEC members.
The APC spokesman disclosed that it was normal for other people to want to contest for the position of president, but that for now, Buhari was the only aspirant that had signified intention for the number one position.
He, however, said the party’s constitution allowed other members to also express similar interest while the party would finally take a decision.
Abdullahi said it would be prejudicial to other party members to describe President Buhari as the only presidential candidate for now, but that the work that the president started was fundamental to the development of the country that he should be given the opportunity to consolidate on it.
He said four years could not be enough to actualise what a government planned to achieve, saying it was in the interest of Nigerians to allow the work that Buhari started to continue.
The APC’s position was a sharp contrast to what the PDP did ahead of 2015 elections when it foreclosed the chances of other presidential hopefuls by printing only one nomination form for ex- President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a related development, a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Issa Aremu, said President Buhari had the right under the Nigerian Constitution to seek for re-election for a second term. Aremu disclosed that the same constitution allowed other eligible contestants to exercise their right to vote and be voted for.
The NLC official stated that the controversy over why the president was contesting or not was necessary, adding that what was clear was that members of the Labour Party (LP) would also exercise their constitutional right to vote based on critical assessment of all the political office holders with respect to decent work, decent pay, employment, cost of living, security, a prosperous nation, fair, just and united Nigeria.