Nigerians Can’t Have Jonathan for Another Term – APC
Ahead of its presidential primary, Nigeria’s biggest opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, has said that Nigerians could not afford another four years of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Speaking in a telephone interview, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, said it is clear that Nigerians will reject the President for another term in office.
He said the APC will field a presidential candidate that will defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 election.
who stated this in a telephone interview with our correspondents in Abuja on Friday, said
He stated that the opposition party would present acceptable candidates for all elective posts, including the President.
Mohammed spoke on the party’s preparations for its primaries.
According to the schedule of activities for the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, October 1, 2014 is set aside for it (the commission) to make public the notice of elections.
Political parties are expected to hold their primaries as from October 2, 2014, while campaigns for the positions of the President, the Vice President and membership of the National Assembly are scheduled to begin on November 16, 2014.
November 4 to November 11 is for the collection of forms for all elections by all political parties.
Speaking on the APC’s preparations for the primaries, Mohammed said, “When the time comes, we will make public the date for our primaries, as well as modalities for them. I can assure you that our primaries for all elective offices will be conducted transparently like we have always done.
“I have no doubt in my mind that our party will present acceptable candidates for all elective offices, including that of the President.
“Who eventually emerges as our candidate, will, by the grace of God, defeat this corrupt and incompetent PDP-led administration in a free and fair election.
“You will agree with me that an overwhelming number of Nigerians will not pray for another four years of the present administration.”
When contacted, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Prof. Rufai Alkali, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, described the APC as a party of desperate politicians.
He said the opposition party was trying to divert the attention of the PDP from the Osun State governorship election holding on August 9, 2014.
Alkali said,“As you are aware, the entire PDP machinery came to Osun on Saturday for a grand rally. This is why they are getting more confused and desperate. I advise them to go and face the Osun election. They are desperate. They are trying to divert our attention.
“I want the people of Osun to come out and participate en masse in the election, so that they can remove these desperate politicians.”
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the task of reconciling aggrieved members is topmost on the agenda of the APC. This is even as the party has begun fine -tuning its strategies to ensure the emergence of a presidential candidate, which it believes can win the election.
A high ranking member of the party, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in Abuja, on Friday, said the party was conscious of provisions of the Electoral Act, hence, it was not in a hurry to “start campaigns” like the ruling party is doing.
According to the source, the party is taking steps to tidy up minute details to ensure that every member is given a sense of belonging to halt the exodus of members.
The source said, “Our party is methodological in its approach to issues. We have put in place the necessary strategy to ensure success.
“I cannot begin to give you the details of what we are doing but we are working; be rest assured that we will not let down our guard to be taken off guard like what happened in Ekiti.
“Osun will be different; you wait and see. We shall resolve our issues before our primaries, which tentatively, will hold early in October.
“Don’t forget, our consultants are working and they are giving us regular updates about areas we need to improve on. We are dealing with our internal issues and very soon, Nigerians will see a brand new APC.”
SUNDAY PUNCH, however, learnt that as part of its strategy, the party had resolved to pay greater attention to reconciling aggrieved members, while the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led Executive Committee is left to work out modalities for the party’s primaries.
Although an exact date has yet to be fixed, several meeting are being held in Lagos, Kaduna and Abuja, with a view to developing a winning strategy.
This is even as the leadership of the party has expressed confidence that whoever emerges as the party’s flag bearer will have the required broad-based support to dislodge President Jonathan.
Mohammed confirmed to SUNDAY PUNCH that the party had yet to fix a date for the primaries. He explained that the National Executive Council of the party was barely two months old and it needed some time to settle down.
Meanwhile, prospective presidential aspirants jostling for the ticket of the APC have intensified consultations towards actualising their dreams.
Tubtle moves by those jostling for the party’s presidential ticket have continued with renewed vigour.
It was gathered that the leading contenders for the ticket – former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.); ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; and Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso – have increased the tempo of their consultations with party supporters.
Although Buhari has yet to make public his ambition (if any), his supporters within the party are insisting that it is him or nothing.
It was learnt that Atiku, also a veteran of presidential contests, is also interested in the race for the ticket.
Kwankwaso is one of the five aggrieved governors who defected from the PDP to the APC; he has since made public his desire to vie for the presidency.
The Kano governor is seen as one of those being looked upon by some northern members of the party who are asking for generational change in the party.
On the choice of APC’s presidential candidate, Mohammed said, “At the moment, the party, like I have told you several times before, has not discussed the issue yet.
“We will cross that bridge when we get there. We will not, however, bar anyone from expressing interest or aspiring for the presidential candidacy. The party is not going to stop anyone from expressing their views, especially when it has to do with a legitimate ambition.
“All I can say is that everything will be done in accordance to our laid down rules and regulations; we will have our party primaries to elect candidates for elective offices from the local, states to the national levels.”
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