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2015: I’m ready to step down, says Buhari

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Thursday, May 02, 2013 | 5/02/2013 10:26:00 am


THE presidential ambition of former military Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is not a do-or-die affair.

The national leader and 2011 presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday said he was ready to drop his ambition for the survival of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said such a decision would be taken if a better and formidable candidate emerged as the party’s standard bearer for 2015.

Speaking with reporters in Minna, the Niger State capital, at the maiden edition of Sam Nda-Isaiah Annual Lecture Series, the former military leader, who recently declared his intention to take another shot at the presidency in 2015, said he was ready to drop his ambition for APC.

Gen. Buhari, a frontline promoter of the APC, said: “I will be ready to step down if there is a formidable and better candidate. It is not about me but for the survival of the party. APC is about ensuring internal democracy; whoever emerges is the person I will support. Yes I will be ready to step down.”

Former Kano State Governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, also a former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a leader of APC said the flag bearer of the APC would emerge through a democratic process.

Shekarau, who was also at the lecture, said democratic principles would be applied in picking a candidate from the array of formidable presidential materials in APC.

He said: “It is too early to talk about or to have a presidential candidate. In APC, we will have internal democracy that will guide the party. Let us have the party on ground first, congresses will be held at various levels that will produce our candidates. At that point anybody can contest and the party will support the best candidate that emerges.”

Shekarau said that as soon as all the merging parties are through with their national conventions, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be requested to register the APC.

Assuring that a government under the APC will bring a holistic and radical change into governance, the APC chieftain said: “We are not talking of just dismantling the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party); we want change.

“We are not just talking about change in democracy but change in attitude; change in approach; change in character; change in conducting the business of government. That is why our slogan is change. We are determined to change Nigeria for better.”

In his speech entitled: “The role of youth in sustaining democratic values in Nigeria”, Gen. Buhari said the media should be courageous and not shy away in keeping leaders and political office holders not only on their toes but in check.

He also called on leaders and those in position of authority to ensure a viable environment for people to thrive.

“The moment there is nobody in the country to make our leaders to create a viable environment, then the nation is in trouble,” Gen. Buhari warned.
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