The APC National Stakeholders wondered if the president was now being influenced by the antics of state governors who often resort to imposing their stooges as successors, saying the president is supposed to be a moral compass to governors.
Speaking under the aegis of APC Rebirth Group, the stakeholders said President Buhari’s desire to reciprocate gestures must not compromise the party’s internal democratic processes.
At a media parley in Abuja, Convener of the group, Engr. Aliyu Audu, including Mohammed Saidu Etsu, a former national chairmanship aspirant, conceded that the stakeholders recognise the inalienable rights of the president to be interested in whoever succeeds him and the natural desire to reciprocate the gesture of support he received in his 2014 bid to be the party’s flag bearer for the 2015 presidential election.
The stakeholders however opined that “the choice of the president should not amount to an imposition or foreclose the chances of a free and fair contest where the candidate who reflects all the values and virtues of the party and has the potential to defeat the candidates of other political parties will be democratically elected.”
They also painfully recalled how the current National Chairman of the party was imposed on stakeholders in the lead up to the March 26 national convention, saying: “We say this because the memories of what transpired at the last national convention of the party where the president picked his choice for the position of the national chairman and literally forced the other aspirants to step down in a manner that can best be described as an imposition is still very fresh.”
“The best legacy President Buhari can leave for the APC and Nigeria as a whole is the legacy of a deeply entrenched democratic process where Nigerians can freely choose who represents them at whatever level in free, fair, credible and transparent processes.”