Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, has said his quest to govern Nigeria is borne out of the desire for a secured and efficiently managed nation.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant addressed reporters yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, after consulting with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Gen. Buhari said: “I contested three times and I lost three times. I ended up in Supreme Court three times. We thank God because the constitution does not limit how many times you can contest. Whichever stage, once you are 18 and above, they did not put age limit as well.
“I ruled this country before under a different system. From 1999 till now, I am sure you know what has been happening. I believe that what Nigeria needs now is to be secured and efficiently managed. This is the APC stand. I will like to use this opportunity through my party, through the system to seek a secured and efficiently managed Nigeria as the country is not being well managed.”
On APC’s primaries, he said: “This is up to the party and the people. We want a fair playing field for everybody. Let Nigerians be given the impression and let them believe that they matter, that all the efforts to salvage them are for them and for the country. But if there is a consensus agreement and it is not forced on the people, all well and good.
“It will save time and resources. But if people insist on making sure that the people they want to lead should present themselves and let the people decide, it is all well and good. The system allows it.”
Gen. Buhari said he read in the papers the withdrawal of Senator Bukola Saraki from the presidential race.
He said: “I read it in the papers and I went to see him. I didn’t beg him to leave it for me. But it is his decision. He has been a governor here in this state twice. He knows the politics of the country. He is known throughout the country. His father worked extremely hard and virtually established a dynasty voluntarily supported by the people of this state.”
Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Sunday, said two of the G7 governors, who are still in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would soon join APC.
He added that more governors in the ruling party would also defect to the APC
The governor was in Kwara State on consultations for the presidential ticket of the APC in next year’s election.
In a statement, Kwankwaso said APC members are practical people with extensive grassroots reach.
The governor said they would rejuvenate the national economy, tackle corruption and ensure national growth.
He said: “Our economy can never be good in a situation of crises. Our economy can never be good in the face of corruption. Those who are trying to convince us that the economy is good don’t know what they are saying. Yes, their economy is good but the masses’ economy is bad. That is the situation today. That is what the APC wants to correct.”
On APC consensus candidate for the presidential election, Kwankwaso noted that in line with the party’s constitution, it would explore the possibility of a consensus candidate within the ambit of democratic culture.
Ahmed said the choice of the APC presidential candidate for the 2015 elections would not only be devoid of acrimony but would strengthen the fortunes of the party.
The governor said Nigeria had bad leadership, despite its abundant human and natural resources endowment.
But he was optimistic that an APC administration at the federal level would ensure the effective leadership Nigeria deserves.
“The APC is the fastest-growing party in Nigeria and the only truly national party, which came into being as a result of the congruence of ideas on how to ensure that Nigeria moves again along the side of improving and growing nations,” Ahmed added.
Former Vice-President and APC presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said yesterday he was not prepared for a consensus option in choosing the party’s candidate for the 2015 elections.
Atiku addressed reporters in Abuja on a planned policy review summit to be held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The APC chieftain said the party’s leadership decided to go for the primaries.
He said: “We have met as a caucus, as the Board of Trustees (BoT), as the National Executive Council (NEC). But we have decided to go the primaries.”