President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday in Abuja declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019. He soon left to the UK to try and win a $15Bn deal in the oil industry.
President Buhari made the declaration at a closed-door meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The President said he was responding to the clamour by Nigerians to recontest in 2019, adding that he wanted to give NEC the honour of notifying them first.
Shortly before making the declaration, the President presented a speech on the report submitted by the APC National Executive Technical Committee.
I am delighted to welcome you all to this very important meeting in the affairs of our party and our country. I want to specifically thank members of the Technical Committee for a job well done within the limited time frame.
It shows a great sense of commitment to the ideals of our party with a view to consolidating and positioning the party to continue delivering good governance in the overall interest of Nigerians.
With the present state of the party and based on the report submitted by the Technical Committee, It is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.
Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits.
Upon my review of the Report, my position is to ensure that the party tows the path of unity, legality and cohesion and not that of division.
Therefore, I am stressing that we should strengthen our internal democracy by organising the Party’s Congresses and Convention where election of National Executive Committee members would be held.
This will automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of Court compelling the party to hold its Congresses.
I also believe that the current executives should be free to vie for elective positions in the party if they so wish as permitted by our Party constitution.
However, considering the provision of Article 31(1)(iii) of the APC Constitution which requires any serving officer desirous of seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before election, I am not sure of the practicality of present serving officers’ ability to meet this condition.
Accordingly, the party may consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels so that they are not disenfranchised from participating in the elections should they wish to do so, provided this does not violate our rules.
Necessary waiver(s) should also be extended to executives at the Ward level whose tenures may have elapsed, and indeed to anyone knocking at our doors from other political parties.
This is in the spirit of the Right to Freedom of Association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In this circumstance, the party should officially issue a statement on the above Waivers so that our house may be full. We all must not be ignorant of the times, and the journey that is ahead of us.
Just like our party symbol; “the Broom,” which typifies strength in unity, let us strive to remain united in our purpose. Victory is sure by the Grace of God, and together we must continue to sanitize Nigeria’s political environment.
Once again, I welcome you all to this meeting with the hope that we will, in our deliberations today, conduct ourselves without rancour and promote the highest interest of the party and the nation.
Do not run – CNPP
The Conference of Nigeria Political Party (CNPP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari has nothing to show Nigerians, in terms of concrete achievement, to make him think of seeking re-election beyond the fact that re-contesting is a legal right, giving reasons why the President should not seek re-election.
While reacting to the President’s declaration of intention to seek re-election, the CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, maintained that Nigeria should be thinking of electing a patriotic politician who understands economic dynamics and inclusive governance.
“It is disappointing that the President will choose to declare for a second term at when the security of lives and property of Nigerians cannot be guaranteed.
“The President’s declaration of intention to run at this time is the height of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians who are suffering under his administration as he has nothing concrete in terms of achievement to show Nigerians.
“Today, we can count businesses that have either collapsed or are operating under the worst economic condition in history of our dear country, with no single high profile conviction in his so-called anti-corruption war in three years.
“His anti-corruption campaign has obviously be turned into a blackmailing tool aimed at painting one political party black, while anyone accused of corruption that joins the All Progressives Congress (APC) automatically becomes a saint and must be protected to enjoy his loot. That is not war against corruption.
“Nigerians at this time should be moving with the global tide by thinking of electing a successful patriotic man or woman as President.
“Re-electing the incumbent is to vote for continuity of failure as the first term in the office is usually the time to win the confidence of the electorate but Mr President has performed so woefully in security, nation building, provision of infrastructure, employment generation, name it to seek re-election. His government has failed all-round.
“We, as Nigerians, have experimented enough in the last three years. The hungry and jobless citizens can no longer endure, and cannot afford to see another four years of this failed administration after 2019”, the CNPP said.