In this interview with WILLY EYA, he dismissed one of the conspiracy theories that President Buhari may not contest next year’s presidential election, even as he frowned at the idea of Northern Elders Forum led by Prof Ango Abdullahi searching for another presidential candidate to replace President Buhari in 2019.
First of all, President Buhari is not the candidate of the North but Nigeria as a whole. So, anybody in the Northern part of the country who thinks they are still looking for a candidate from the North, we wish them well. Prof Ango Abdullahi is entitled to his opinion and we cannot stop anybody from seeking or searching for a candidate. To us, we believe in this country and we believe that some of these kinds of comments are divisive in nature. Why talk about a candidate from the North.
His argument is that since the major political parties have zoned their presidential tickets to the North, the zone should carefully select a candidate that has more capacity in terms of delivering quality leadership to the nation.
First of all, Prof Ango Abdullahi is a father to me but I do not think he belongs to any political party. So, Prof Abdullahi and his group cannot decide for any party who its candidate should be. Yes, they could support somebody if they do not believe in Buhari because they are entitled to their opinion. Let them produce anybody who can defeat Buhari in 2019. We are in a democracy. There is nothing wrong in bringing forward anybody who can contest against Buhari. If the person is better than Buhari, so be it. Let the people decide.
As an insider, could you clarify the issue that members of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), one of the legacy parties that formed the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been schemed out of the ruling party’s power equation?
It is not true. I, Hon Farouk Adamu Aliyu contested to be Deputy National Chairman from the CPC bloc but I lost the election. Why should we be talking about the ACN or nPDP now? Our name is APC and if we cannot be magnanimous in victory or when we lose elections, then we are not going to move forward. This is the issue. I do not subscribe to the idea of former CPC, ACN and so on members complaining. This is because we are now called the APC. If members of the CPC complain, what do you expect members of other parties to say when Buhari who is of the CPC is the president? So, how can anybody who was a member of the CPC feel shortchanged. Is the seat of the president not more important than any other position? Somebody told me that some groups of the CPC were reported in the media to be complaining but I dissociate myself from them. I am not part of such a group and I do not subscribe to their position. I am a strict party person and I believe in democracy. I contested gubernatorial election on the platform of the CPC and I lost. In every election, there must be a winner and a loser. So, if anybody thinks I lost because I belonged to the CPC, I do not think so.
Buhari is of the CPC and all other parties came together to vote for Buhari to become the candidate in 2014. And as of today, there is no other aspirant from the other parties who have come out to challenge Buhari who came from the CPC. So, my colleagues from the former CPC bloc, please I appeal to them to see reason in democracy and believe that we went to an election and lost. We should work together and make sure that the APC wins the 2019 polls.