Tinubu may back Buhari for APC presidential ticket
There are indications that other presidential aspirants in the All Progressives Congress may be asked to step down and support former Head of State, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as the party’s consensus candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Reliable sources in the party, told our correspondent that this was the position of many leaders of the party including former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is arguably the party’s most influential leader.
Though the party has maintained that it will conduct a transparent presidential primary election, which would give all the aspirants a level-playing field, some of its leaders said they are currently considering choosing the candidate via consensus to avoid bitter conflicts that may arise from a keenly contested primary.
The spokesman for the party in the South-East, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, who confirmed this, said the general notion among leaders of the party was that Buhari should be chosen as the party’s candidate through consensus — an option that is permitted by its constitution.
Okechukwu debunked rumours that some people within the party were planning to convince Buhari to drop his ambition and support younger aspirants.
He said, “Buhari is not under pressure to drop his ambition. And I don’t think anybody who wishes the APC well will want to convince Buhari to step down. If we go through primaries, none of the other aspirants would be able to beat Buhari. In fact, now we want to go for a consensus to avoid bitter rivalry within the party. That means the other aspirants would be convinced to step down for Buhari.”
One of Buhari’s associates, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, who was the national publicity secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, told our correspondent that the achievement of the former head of state in the 2011 presidential election stands him out as the most qualified for APC’s presidential ticket.
Fashakin, noted that Buhari was the only living Nigerian that is a threat to President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid, adding that the APC would be shooting itself in the foot if it gives its presidential ticket any other aspirant.
He said being a pragmatic politician, Tinubu would not support any presidential aspirant other than Buhari.
He said, “Tinubu is a political pragmatist. He knows very well that the only man that can win the presidential election for the APC is Buhari. All he needs to say is ‘if you want my support, show me that you can bring 12 million votes.’ So, we are certain that Tinubu will support Buhari, because he is the only one that can guarantee 12 million votes for the APC. Tinubu has made a lot of sacrifice to bring the APC on board, so he will not do anything that will thwart that effort.”
He described the other presidential aspirants as opportunists who did not contribute much to the building of the APC but are seeking to benefit the most from it.
“I learnt that one of our senators asked one of the people who are jostling for the APC presidential ticket whether it was proper to go to somebody’s house and insist on occupying the master bedroom. Where were they when Buhari dissolved his CPC to form the APC? Now that the house is built they want to pick the master bedroom. It doesn’t work that way,” he said.