Former Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has warned his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to use primaries to decide its Presidential candidate for 2015 general election, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will use infiltrators to distablise the election.
The presidential primary of the APC has been fixed for December 2, with interested aspirants expected to pay N27.5 million for expression of interest and nomination form for the contest.
Apart from Buhari, former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar has thrown in his hat for the party’s ticket and has made an open declaration of this.
Buhari’s call for a consensus candidate is coming shortly after, the former presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), last week, openly expressed his readiness to accept the result of the APC primary, even if he does not emerge as preferred candidate.
However, Buhari, in a statement by his campaign organisation, Buhari Vanguard, signed by its Chairman, Jasper Azuatalam, raised the alarm that party primary being planned by the APC will not produce the most qualified person as the party’s flag-bearer, because money bags within the party may buy their way.
According to the group, conducting the primary will also give room for the ruling PDP to successfully plant moles within the APC to prevent the best and strongest candidate from emerging to challenge the ruling party in the 2015 presidential contest.
“After detailed consideration of the Electoral Act, the APC constitution and other relevant laws relating to the emergence of a presidential candidate from a political party, we have come to the conclusion that consensus is the most viable, cost effective and unifying option available to the party.
“As an opposition political party that has promised to reduce corruption in Nigeria to its barest minimum, it will be in good faith to avoid an indirect primary election, which will cost so much money and even lead to financial inducement by some who still believe in “money politics” against credibility and popularity.
“In the same manner, an indirect primary will give the ruling political party an opportunity to infiltrate the All Progressive Congress by influencing delegates with money and planting moles within the delegates to influence who emerges as the presidential candidate of APC.
“This is because they know the candidate to beat in APC and they will do all within their reach to make sure that such candidate does not emerge as an APC presidential candidate.
“We also believe that the bitterness, rancour and disaffection that may arise from the contest will weaken the APC and give the PDP and undue advantage ahead of the 2015 presidential election. It is clear from all available statistics and parameters that the PDP has no locus standing in the 2015 presidential election as they will lose woefully in a free and fair contest because of their abysmal performance in government which has earned them the wrath of Nigerians,” the statement said.
Buhari in the statement also defended the suitability of consensus arrangement, saying both the APC constitution and the Electoral Act gives room for it as an acceptable means of selecting party candidate for elections.