Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Dr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, said on Thursday that those encouraging former Head of State and All Progressives Congress chieftain, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to contest the 2015 presidential election, were his biggest enemies.
Although Gen. Buhari has not declared his intention to run, it is widely believed that he is eyeing the presidential ticket of APC.
But Rep. Jibrin (Kano, APC), said his concern was that Buhari’s integrity as a man who always kept his word, would be tarnished if he insisted on contesting the forthcoming poll.
According to the lawmaker, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, at 73, Buhari should be getting set to exit the political stage for the younger generation and go into retirement with his integrity intact.
He listed some younger politicians he believed the former head of state should vacate the stage to allow them to take over as possible candidates of the APC to include Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole; and Kano State Governor, Mr. Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Jibrin argued that as a man of integrity, Buhari had promised back in 2011 during his campaign that he would not vie for any political office again if he failed to win that year’s presidential election.
“I believe that we have to be honest with ourselves on the issue of Gen. Buhari’s aspiration to be president; perhaps that has been the challenge of the North. I have an inner conviction about what I am saying”, Jibrin insisted, noting that “those clamouring for him to run in 2015 do not really like him”.
“My message to him is that he should play that tape of 2011 where he said he won’t contest again. The issue of his supporters bringing him back does not arise, otherwise, he is no different from Jonathan who said he was going to do one term in 2011 but is now running in 2015.
“Some of his supporters I spoke with told me that if he is elected, he will only spend four years. But if he is going back on his 2011 pledge, how do I trust him now?” Jibrin asked.
He expressed concern that Buhari’s sudden change of mind could only be a dent on his integrity and advised him to forgo his ambition.
Jibrin spoke more, “I like and respect him so much as a man of integrity, but the truth is that we want his integrity to be protected. In 2011, he came out saying that he would not contest again.
“We should not allow his supporters to prod him into contesting. Those prodding him to contest are his biggest enemies”.
He argued further that if Buhari contested the election at 73, he would be 81 years old by the time he had done two terms, a period long enough to “wipe out” the younger generations.
When asked to clarify his position on the speaker, who is at present a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, the lawmaker replied that it was the wish of APC members that Tambuwal was a member of the party.
“It is a wish, it is my personal wish that he should come into APC. He is not a member of APC but we have always wished that he joins us.
“Till today, the PDP is still going round trying to lure governors and House members who defected to APC. That is politics”, he added.
When asked whether by urging Buhari to forgo his ambition, he was not indirectly campaigning for his state governor, Kwankwaso, who is also eyeing the APC presidential ticket, Jibrin claimed that his call had nothing to do with the governor.
“Everything I have said is not a campaign for my governor”, he stated.