The Presidency has observed the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the build up to 2015 and declared that if the party picks a former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as its presidential candidate, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would coast to an easy victory.
The Presidency was apparently replying a comment attributed to spokesman of the newly registered party – Alhaji Lai Mohammed – that it would be political suicide for any party to field President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, stated this in a telephone interview with a PUNCH correspondent in Abuja on Thursday.
The presidential aide also commented on other APC leaders, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i.
He said, “As far as that merger is concerned, the calculation of the Congress for Progressive Change elements is that Buhari will stand for the election. If he stands for the election, it is a walkover for the PDP; so, we are praying that they field Buhari.”
Sounding very confident on who would or would not run for the presidential race under the banner of APC, Gulak stated, “Tinubu is not interested in the presidential race. I have it on good authority that Tinubu is not interested.
“El-Rufa’i is not a politician. When we are talking about politicians who are likely candidates, we don’t talk about people like El-Rufa’i. We are talking about political politicians.
“But in all, the President has yet to declare his intention whether he will re-contest or not. When the time comes in 2014, we will know whether he will offer himself for a second term or not. As of now, we are here to work for Nigerians.”
Gulak berated the APC for attempting to decide the fate of the President if the PDP fielded him for the 2015 presidential election, saying since the party had just been registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), its leaders should mind their own business and focus on the challenges ahead of them.
He said, “The APC that was just born yesterday should not have the mouth to talk.
“They should mind their own business and face the struggle ahead of them. They should stop focusing on what PDP will do or will not do, that is none of their business.”
The presidential aide added that so far, the APC has not shown that it possesses the presidential material to cause President Jonathan sleepless nights if he decides to re-contest in 2015.