Veteran presidential candidate and a major stakeholder in the new All Progressives Congress, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) on Tuesday restated the new party’s determination to push out the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in 2015.
In his words, “The APC is focus-driven to push the PDP out of power by 2015,” Buhari told members of the Democratic Emancipation Movement who paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna.
Buhari has vied for the Presidency on the platforms of two political parties in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and lost in all of them to PDP candidates. He hinged his 2015 ambition on only one condition – if the APC wants him to.
“My decision will be tied to the constitution of the APC. If the party chooses me as its candidate, I will contest. If the members do not consider me, I will not contest but I will still support the party. My decision to run for 2015 will solely be that of the party,” Buhari said.
He also joined the bandwagon to praise the nation’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission for having the nerve to register the APC.
The former Head of State went down memory lane a bit, saying that he had thought of a merger of political forces to wrest power from the PDP in 2007. He also admitted to the opposition parties in the country making mistakes in the past because “we made ourselves vulnerable.”
Buhari said, “I thought about this merger in 2007. This is because I found out that none of the opposition parties can challenge the PDP successfully. But if we come together with those that have representation at the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly and go back to sensitise our constituencies, even if the PDP want to rig, they would find it impossible to rig.
“I discovered that by being so divisive, we made ourselves very vulnerable. So, the best way to survive and for this country to stabilise, we just have to come together and I believe, along the line, we made necessary sacrifices.
He also highlighted the optimism generated in some sections of the citizenry about the prospects of the new party.
“The tension in the country has already come down; people now think that they have a viable alternative. These feelings and belief is across the country, not only in the North or in the South-West. There is a good feeling about the party in all the political zones of the country.
The PDP on Tuesday, singing a different tune in response, said that Buhari, who ruled Nigeria as a military Head of State between 1983 and 1985, was daydreaming.
“There is no way the APC can win the election in 2015. He (Buhari) is day-dreaming,” said Acting National Publicity Secretary, Tony Okeke.