The All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday barred former military Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, from publicly commenting on his 2015 presidential ambition.
The party gave the order at the first meeting of its national leaders in Abuja, which was attended by the state governors, officers and major stakeholders. The meeting was called to mobilise for nationwide registratioan of new members and solicit the support of members for finance to run the new party.
The leadership also gave its nod to the former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, to carry the flag of the party in the November 16 governorship election.
APC, however, said that the party would still hold primaries in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had last month formally registered APC with the fusing together of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
During the question and answer session with newsmen, Buhari was asked to confirm if he would contest the presidential election in 2015 and before he could answer, the party’s Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, cut in to restrain Buhari.
Akande said: “I overrule Buhari from answering that question. This is my press conference and if anybody wants to declare to contest, he should call his press conference in his house.”
Buhari also declined to comment on the ongoing restructuring in the party, saying that henceforth all questions about the party and its politicies must be directed to the national chairman.
Akande noted that the meeting was to commence the process of sensitising party members and millions of supporters to “who we are and what we stand for, as a party that represents and champions the aspirations of most Nigerian citizens.
He said: “It is common knowledge that our country has for many years now been confronted by fundamental, daunting and multi-dimensional challenges.
“This is clearly indicated by the recurring crises that bedevil its social fabric, political processes, structure of governance, and indeed, its economic and developmental processes. The result is that the nation and its citizenry continue to exist in a state of near permanent trauma.
“The philosophy underpinning the coming into being of the APC, therefore, is the determination to bring the country back from the brink of collapse, despair, and possible disintegration; reposition it decisively on the route to emerging into a modern stable democratic nation, with a productive economy that is based on equity and justice for all citizens.
“This would be attained through the harnessing of the abundant energies, enterprise and intellect of all Nigerians.
“We believe that at the core of the paralysing challenges confronting Nigeria today is the failure of governance, which is manifested in the continuing inability of the Nigerian State to meet the basic requirements and aspirations of the nation and of its citizenry.”
The national chairman, however, said that the task before APC was to create a partnership with the people to decisively change both tone and substance of governance in the country.
“The Nigerian state must not only be strengthened but reconstituted to become the veritable tool of resolving and managing the fundamental challenges confronting the nation.”
He said that such challenges could be broadly categorised to include the challenge of national unity and integration; perennial threats to security, law and order; ensuring rapid economic growth with equity (people centered economic management); protecting and consolidating Nigeria’s emerging democratic tradition.
Others are prioritising human development in health, in education – particularly intensification of mass women education and employment opportunities for all our youths; instituting a sustainable management of the environment; and that Nigeria assumes its proper place in world affairs commensurate with its size and status as the leading black nation in the world.