Former Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has made known his intention to contest for the seat of the president in the 2015 general election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying however, that he is ready to support any other candidate that emerges as the presidential flag bearer of the party.
Buhari stated this yesterday, while addressing a coalition of over 60 youth groups from across the country, under the aegis of the Buhari Support Group Centres (BSGC) and in continuation of his visitation of various stakeholders, which took place at the Royal Tropicana Hotel, in Abuja.
The former military leader told his supporters, mostly youth from across the six geo-political zones, who had earlier called on him to declare his intention to take another shot at the presidency, that with their support he intends to offer himself for the position of the president, come 2015.
“With your support, I intend to offer myself for the position of the president of the Republic on the platform of our great party,” he declared.
Buhari stated that he intends to make a formal announcement soon (October 8), urging for continued support and sacrifice from his supporters.
Harping on the scheduled national convention of the APC where the party’s presidential candidate is expected to emerge, Buhari emphasized that he is ready to support any other candidate that emerges as the presidential flag bearer of the party.
He said it is the primaries that will determine who eventually represents the party in which capacity, adding “If I get the party 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.”
“I will 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 forward; because it is the party that is the platform” Buhari stated.
He said he decided to run because the Peoples Democratic Party-led federal administrations from 1999 till date were purposeless and that there appears not to be a government in place in Nigeria at present.
The APC leader criticised the PDP-led administration since 1999, saying they lacked purpose. He said in the circumstance, it is important for him to step in to seek an opportunity to salvage the situation.
According to him, “Today, we are in the 15th year of purposeless leadership by the PDP and all we have seen is unprecedented deterioration in the security and law and order situation, 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 realizing 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. The task before us today is wide ranging and very great. The first and most important is to take away power from those who have been misusing it.
“Indeed, except for the call of patriotism, public-spiritedness and an abiding love for the people off this country, nothing will today make honest, honourable and sane politician want to be saddled with Nigeria and an economy in trouble and a society in even deeper trouble – with its perilous security situation, with its extensive and almost unmanageable corruption and with its pervasive lawlessness. And a government – is there really a government? – that is not working.”
While showing appreciation to his supporters, Buhari noted that although “we may be the most under-funded project in the history of this country, but by the grace of God and your support, we are the greatest crowd puller in the nation today; and the credit for all this goes to you for being there on the scene of the struggle.”
He however warned all his supporters, volunteers and other well-wishers within the APC and outside the party not to insult or be rude to any other aspirant or party leader on his behalf.
He asked them not to engage in any kind of behaviour or conduct that would tarnish the image of any leader or promote division and rancour within the ranks of the party.
“Whoever does that should know he or she is working for the enemy. At the same time, I would like to appeal and urge you to be good ambassador of the opposition.
“As a body, the opposition is committed to the rule of law; and as members of the parties in the opposition, you must learn to do the same at all times. In particular, you must learnt to be vigilant especially just before, during and immediately after elections, whether these are rigged or not, so that sponsored hoodlums do not commit illegalities that are in the end blamed on you.
“Not only must you not take laws into your hands, no matter the level of provocation, you must be able to expose those planning to do so before they act.”