- His running mate to emerge democratically – APC
- A vote for Buhari is vote for Tinubu – PDP
- We are yet to decide – ACF
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, ( APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has planned to rig February 2015 general elections, calling on Nigerians to stand on their feet to protect their votes.
Buhari, who made the allegation on the English Service of the Voice of America monitored in Jos, noted that it has been the habit of the PDP to manipulate elections, contending that this time around it would not make any difference except if people were conscious of the fact that their votes must count.
He said: “The ruling party is planning to rig the 2015 election as it has been in their character and Nigerians should not allow that to happen. Let us protect our democracy by coming out to protect our votes. I am telling all Nigerians that the current insecurity challenges would not only affect one individual, house or one side of the country.
“If it continues, it would affect all Nigerians. If people relax and say they would not vote or protect their votes, then they are satisfied with what the PDP is doing. People should not stay at home and be thinking that the election would be free and fair, “ he added.
Asked who his running mate was, Buhari said, “our party is still discussing about that. It is not a personal thing. We are deliberating on that with the party.”
This is even as the APC has assured Nigerians that the choice of its presidential running mate will be made within the context of the best democratic ideals, just like that of its presidential candidate.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party urged Nigerians to ignore the widespread and misleading reports in the traditional and social media about the choice of the APC presidential running mate, saying the party has yet to even meet, not to talk of picking a running mate.
It described the reports that a running mate has been picked to run with the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as unnecessarily sensational, downright speculative and totally misleading.
“We are using this opportunity to tell Nigerians to pray for us as we seek to pick a running mate for our presidential candidate. This is because this choice is not just for us but for all of Nigeria,’’ APC said.
The party said everyone of the candidates who has been speculated as a running mate to Gen. Buhari is unquestionably competent to be a Vice President or even President, adding, however, that no choice has yet been made by the party.
“We are glad with the feedback we have received from Nigerians on the transparent and rancour-free manner in which our presidential primaries was organized. We are assuring Nigerians that the choice of our presidential running mate will also be guided by best democratic ideals.
“We appreciate the nationwide interest that the choice of our presidential candidate and his running mate has generated. It is a mark of the confidence that Nigerians reposed in us. We assure that we will not disappoint our compatriots who have seen our party as the agent of the change they so much desire,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the PDP has said that its flag-bearer, President Goodluck Jonathan, is up for the presidential electoral contest on February 14, 2015 with the former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Bola Tinubu and not General Muhammadu Buhari.
It said that the former Head of State was a mere political errand boy of Tinubu.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Sunday said the APC Presidential candidate, General Buhari is merely a front for Alhaji Tinubu to whom he has already surrendered his powers and first official assignment of choosing a running mate.
PDP explained that Buhari has already surrendered the task of choosing his presidential running mate to Tinubu, whom it described as his political task master.
Some members of the Northern socio- cultural organization, Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) appeared to be divided over the candidature of former Head of State and APC Presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 elections.
Chairman of the ACF and former Inspector-General of Police, Ahaji Ibrahim Coomasie was quoted to have said on Saturday that the northern body had adopted Buhari as the sole Northern candidate against President Jonathan.
However, a member of the National Executive Council of the ACF, Alhaji Salisu Garba, who is also the Publicity Secretary of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Forum at a press conference yesterday in the state capital, said the Chairman of the Forum was on his own, as no member of the NEC had met to endorse the former Head of State.
Garba insisted that until the ACF executive releases its official position, the issue of endorsement of any particular presidential candidate for the 2015 elections should be put to rest for the time being.
He, therefore, cautioned that the ACF should tread softly, noting that “as a responsible body, ACF should summon courage to examine the merits or otherwise of each of the Northern candidates contesting for the presidency on the platforms of other political parties before pronouncing its stand. This will be seen to be fair and just; not only to the candidates but to the people of the North.”