The three-time presidential aspirant made this known yesterday when members of the Democratic Emancipation Movement paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna.
Buhari, who spoke personally for the first time since the APC was formally registered last Wednesday, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being an impartial arbiter.
The APC, according to Buhari, will give Nigerians a new lease of life and hope that would make the country rank top in the comity of nations.
On his plans for 2015, he said: “My decision will be tied to the Constitution of the APC; if the party chooses me as its candidate, I will contest; if they do not consider, I will not contest but I will still support the party. My decision to run in 2015 will solely be the party’s decision.”
The former military ruler, who said “The APC is focus-driven to push the PDP out of power by 2015,” recalled the journey towards the merger and admits that the opposition would have found it difficult to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) individually.
“I thought about this merger since 2007. This is because I found out that none of the opposition parties can challenge the PDP successfully. But if we come together with those that have representation at the National Assembly and the Houses of the Assembly and go back to sensitise our constituencies, even if the PDP wants to rig, they would find it impossible to rig.
“I discovered that by been so divisive, we made ourselves very vulnerable. So, the best way to survive and for this country to stabilise, we had to come together and I believe along the line, we made necessary sacrifices,” he said.
Commending INEC for doing a thorough job of pointing out some lapses, Gen. Buhari said: “To be honest, we have to thank INEC, because when we thought we had applied according to the 2010 Electoral Act, INEC drew our attention to the section that said there must be the headquarters at the federal capital that is good enough to be called a headquarters of a national party, then our Constitution, our manifesto, the harmonisation of the three main parties.
“We thought that the initial nine signatories were enough to manage the party in the interim between registration and convention, but INEC advised us that we needed to get between 25 and 35 people to come out from the six geo-political zones to sign.”
“If the INEC wanted to be wicked, they could have kept mute and just sent us a letter that our application was not complete; they could have done that. But for them to send us an observation which was later corrected, I believe they were very impartial and we thank them for that,” Gen. Buhari said.
In his view, the APC’s emergence has reduced tension in the country. “The tension has already come and gone. People now think that they have a viable alternative. These feelings and belief is across the country, not only in the North or in the Southwest. There is a good feeling about the party in all the political zones of the country.
“Our next important step is the mobilisation of constituencies to make sure that elections are conducted according to law.
“In 2003, 2007, 2011, a lot of disgraceful things happened during those elections. We are trying now to put the structure of APC on the ground from the ward to the national levels with the hope to give Nigerians hope and to win power.
“Those that are going to be in charge of the party from now till the convention are the people that are very committed to the party’s stabilisation and political strength. We have started working hard to ensure that we avoid problems.”
The name of late legal luminary and Senior Advocate of the Masses, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) also resonated at the meeting as Gen. Buhari noted that without the rights activist’s legal fireworks at the Supreme Court, APC and other political parties would not have been registered today.
“It was the late Chief Fawehinmi, who took the letter I wrote and went to the Supreme Court to stop the ruling party from denying other parties registration. We thank Gani Fawehinmi for his foresight to challenge the matter at the Supreme Court,” Gen. Buhari said.
Leader of the Democratic Emancipation Movement, Matamaki Tom Maiyashi, said Nigerians were aware of several efforts aimed at sabotaging the registration of the party.
He said: “The registration of APC marked a point in the political history of our country that will mark the beginning of a watershed in the political struggle of Nigeria.
“In fact, the PDP is very lucky that APC is registered, because the registration of APC has doused a lot of tension in the country.
“People now have hope that there is an alternative. It was not an easy thing, but we have an alternative. The monster that is called the PDP will be driven out by 2015.”