There is none like him – CPC chiefs on Buhari’s presidential ambition
We know he said last week that he would forgo his bid to run for the presidency for a record fourth time if the APC found a better candidate than him. Apparently, that’s simply not enough.
THISDAY is reporting that Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) chieftains are opposed to any attempt to make the party’s national leader and its candidate in the 2011 presidential election, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), drop his presidential ambition for 2015.
A source said some party bigwigs are against attempts to persuade Buhari to forgo his presidential ambition as a sacrifice for the success of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a merger of the nation’s major opposition parties of which the CPC is a key component.
CPC chiefs are reportedly fanatically opposed to moves to persuade the former head of state to step aside for a younger candidate because to them, there is no better alternative to him in the APC.
“This influential group is pushing hard for the presidential bid of Buhari and is bent on getting him to fly the flag of APC,” the source said.
The party leadership is reportedly insisting that the only way it would accept Buhari to step down is if the APC found another candidate more popular than him, but the party chiefs expressed reservations about that possibility especially in the north.
The source said Buhari’s statement that he would consider stepping down if the APC found a better candidate was made so as not to portray himself as a non-democrat and as someone trying to undermine the success of the merger bid, which he is working hard to achieve.
The source added that Buhari was aware of his immense popularity in the north and is counting on that to secure him the APC presidential ticket.
He said: “The time for Buhari to give way to a younger candidate has not yet come. For now, only Buhari can pull the kind of votes that will unsettle PDP in 2015. He presently commands a larger following in the north than any other politician and if the merging parties call for a contest, he stands the chance of picking the APC ticket with relative ease.”
Meanwhile, the CPC has vowed that it will go ahead with its May 11 national convention where the party is expected to formally dissolve into the APC in spite of a pending court case against its leadership according to its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin.
“We will still go ahead with our party’s national convention scheduled for May 11, notwithstanding the court case by the aggrieved group led by Senator Rufai Hanga. Their court case will not affect our convention,” he said.
The party’s Legal Adviser, Mr. Okoi Obolo-Obla, said as far as CPC was concerned, those opposing the merger bid by the opposition parties, especially the Hanga group, were not ‘real members’ of the party, adding that most of them have been expelled and have no locus standi to contest any issue with the party.