DETERMINED to clinch power at the centre as the 2015 general election is fast approaching, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, has stated that the party will present a pan-Nigerian, able and competent presidential candidate for next February’s presidential election.
Speaking with journalists in Bauchi, Lame, a former Police Affairs Minister, told journalists that APC would consider competence and ability to deliver the goods in presenting its presidential candidate for election, adding that such candidate had to be someone accepted by every part of Nigeria.
“Basically, the APC will consider competence and ability to deliver the goods, which is our first consideration in producing a presidential candidate for the 2015 elections,” he said.
The APC presidential candidate, according to Lame, who was eyeing the Bauchi State governorship seat, would neither be a northern nor southern candidate, adding that being a national party, its presidential candidate had to be a Nigerian candidate.
“The APC did not say it will produce a northern candidate; the APC will produce a Nigerian candidate. It could be from the North, it could be from the South and in politics, you will have to do some balancing,” he said.
He added that even if the party eventually decided to zone its presidential slot to any particular zone in the country, it would still present its best from such a zone, adding that the opposition party was blessed with abundant talent and people committed to bringing development-oriented change to the country.
“We believe even if we decided to do zoning, we will take the best from the regions, be it north, east, west, we take the best,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lame has reiterated his advocacy for the creation of state police in Nigeria, insisting that the police, as currently constituted, were grossly inadequate to effectively police the country.
The former minister stated that if state police had been in place in the country, the problem of insurgency being experienced mostly in the North-East geopolitical zone of the country could have been tackled headlong before now.
According to him, the insinuation in some quarters that state police would be abused or misused by those in authority at the state level was not true, declaring that as it was now, the Nigeria Police was being abused.
He stated that to ensure that state police operated within the limit of the law, what was needed was for every stakeholder to do the right thing at all times.
Lame said that Nigerians could not rely on the Nigeria Police, submitting that it was inadequate in terms of manpower, which he put at about 376, 000 in a population of about 178 million people.