Former military Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, is expected to declare for the presidential race early next month on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as soon as he concludes his nationwide consultations, his political aides have confirmed to Thisday.
“General Muhammadu Buhari has been holding consultations with stakeholders cutting across the divide on the next year general election,” said one of his aides who craved anonymity.
“Those he has been meeting include politicians, both within and outside the APC, religious leaders, opinion leaders, youths and market women in every state of the federation and the feelers we are getting are encouraging.
“We are rounding off with the consultations and within the next few days, General Buhari would publicly declare for the race and it is our hope that he would not only emerge the presidential candidate of APC but would eventually be elected come February 2015,” he said.
Buhari’s aides boasted that the former Presidential candidate under the All Nigeria Progressives Congress (ANPP), one of the parties that merged to form the APC, still commands unequal popularity among the grassroots and therefore he stands a better chance than other party bigwigs like former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Musa Kwankaso of Kano State.
“If General Buhari declares today, that is where our people would go. Who else would run against him in the north? Who else do you think the party would prefer to a man who single-handedly secured 11 million votes despite the rigging machinery of the PDP in 2011? General Buhari is the president in waiting, that is the truth,” he said.
Also speaking on the forthcoming elections, another Thisday source, who is a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC said the modified open ballot system adopted by APC to decide the presidential candidate of the party was a welcome development.
“We are all in support of the method but it has not been finalised yet. If you look at it very well, it would allow every aspirant to campaign as if it were the real general election. It is a system that involves all party members. And let me tell you, whatever method of voting that is adopted, General Buhari would emerge the presidential candidate of our party,” he said.