As the race for the Presidential ticket of the opposition party, All Progressives congress, heats up, former Head of State and three-time presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari is set to declare his interest, the PUNCH learnt on Monday.
Buhari, a veteran of three Presidential elections 2003, 2007 and 2011, is expected to slug it out with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Kano State governor Rabiu Kwankwaso among others for the ticket.
An associate of the general and former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Rotimi Fashakin confirmed this.
He said Buhari was going to announce his decision to contest “very soon” adding that the Buhari camp was confident that he is going to get the party’s nod to fly the party’s flag.
According to him, it would be a disservice for the APC if Buhari does not get the ticket.
Fashakin said “General Buhari is the only living Nigerian who poses the greatest threat to President Jonathan’s ambition to rule Nigeria beyond 2015.
“As they say, the biggest masquerade is the one that comes out last. When he comes out even the smaller masquerades that have been out they will move and watch what the bigger masquerade does.”
He also dismissed insinuations that the demand by some members of the party for a generational shift would adversely affect Buhari’s chances.
Fashakin said “We are going to have the South African model where Mandela came, rescued his nation from the oppressive apartheid rule.
“He did four years and left the scene for younger people. That is exactly what General Buhari is going to do.
“He will do four years and set the nation on the path of irreversible progress and then leave the scene for the younger generation. I say this without fear of equivocation. The younger people still have a chance.”
Head of the Atiku Abubakar Media Office, Malam Garba Shehu who unveiled plans by his principal to make a formal declaration on the subject on September 24, said Atiku was in the race to serve as well as give back to Nigeria.
He explained that the Atiku campaign was poised to ensure a decent campaign as such it would not engage in attacking any aspirant for the party ticket.
This, he said, was a deliberate decision because his principal being a loyal party member and a decent politician has no intention to do anything to weaken the party platform.
He said, “Atiku does not need to be President, he is only desperate to serve and I don’t see anything wrong with a man who feels heavily indebted to his country to want to give back to a nation that has been so good to him.”
Attempts to reach the Kwankwaso campaign were unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.
Calls to the mobile telephone number of his Director of Press were neither responded to nor returned. A text message also sent to him was yet to be replied as at the time to filing this report.
However, as at last week, the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso said he was “still consulting.”
In another development, a former Governor of Adamawa State Admiral Murtala Nyako has said the conduct of the just concluded APC governorship primaries in Adamawa State was a good sign that the party is poised to change the face of politics in Nigeria for good.
While congratulating Senator Bindo Jibrilla who emerged as the flag bearer, Nyako said the APC deserves accolades for one of “the most credible primary elections in the history of Nigeria.”
This was contained in a statement signed by Director of the Nyako Media Office, Ahmad Sajoh, on Monday.
Nyako said “by giving the electors the chance to freely choose their flag bearer in a free, fair and transparent process, APC has once again proved to Nigerians that the Party is set to bring change and entrench democracy in Nigeria.”
Nyako commended Senator Bindo for being a determined grassroots mobilizer and being a true Democrat who has immense qualities that will provide Adamawa State with quality leadership.
He also commended the electorate in the 21 Local Government Areas of the State for the wise choice they made.
“Nigerians ought to now realize that giving the right atmosphere, our people are capable of making free choices dictated only by their preferences without being coerced or induced. This is another triumph of democracy.” The statement added.
He urged all members of the APC in the State to close ranks and ensure the victory of the Party at all elections in the State, assuring them that no matter the brazen showmanship of the current overlords of the State, Adamawa State is essentially and indeed firmly an APC State.