The race towards 2019 has taken another turn as APC National leader seems to have reduced the certainty of President Buhari’s candidacy when he proclaimed that the president will not have an automatic ticket.
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday declared that the party would follow the normal democratic process in choosing its flagbearer in the 2019 Presidential Election
He said the leadership of the party had not endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.
His statement was against the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu as the sole candidate of the APC for the 2019 election by the APC governors.
Tinubu held a closed meeting with the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, the Afenifere, at the residence of the leader of the organisation, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Tinubu, who was at the meeting with the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi and the Acting Chairman of the APC in the state, Mr. Ade Ademehin, said Buhari was a man who believed in normal democratic process and the rule of law.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, he said, “No governors can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves. Buhari is a believer in the process. The Buhari, I know, believes in the rule of law. We wanted him even before the last convention and primary of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me, he was not the governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.
He added, “We followed all the constitutional provision and an individual or group’s opinion does not really matter at this stage, Buhari will want a normal process. Buhari that, I know, who says he will lose at any convention? But if the national body, the NEC (National Executive Committee) and all of us as members endorsed him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, we will not be violating our party constitution.
“What you are hearing is just a campaign by other people who might like to do so. Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not infringed on anybody’s ambition if there is. We can not be sycophantic about it.”
On his meeting with the Afenifere leaders, the former governor of Lagos State said he came to see Chief Fasoranti to seek his advice and prayers as one of the leaders in Yorubaland.
“I am in Akure to acknowledge the leadership of Pa. Fasoranti as a great leader of the Omoluwabis and we want him to be happy. He has been a great leader in his youth days. His intellectual is still very intact, to seek his advice, seek his understanding and prayers, that is why I am here.”