All is not well within the All Progressive Congress (APC) as words coming out reveal that younger members of the party are calling on octogenarian General Muhamadu Buhari not to contest the polls. The younger aspirants want the General to step down his ambition of contesting for the Presidency for the fourth time since 2003.
Meanwhile, , Buhari, has travelled abroad for what sources told Saturday Vanguard is a comprehensive medical check up ahead of his declaration for the 2015 presidential contest. Close associates of the general who had earlier chosen September 1 to announce Buhari’s intention to vie for the presidential ticket of the party, were yesterday, said to be contemplating the deferment of the launch on account of the general’s absence.
The other aspirants interested in the party’s ticket include former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso and Leadership Newspaper publisher, Sam Nda-Isaiah. The intentions of Party leader Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu remain largely unclear. Speaker of the House Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal is also considered a top contender for the party’s presidential ticket despite the fact that he remains a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party; Tambuwal is believed to have the blessing of Buhari should he decide not to contest.
Earlier expectation was that retired General will throw his weight behind one of the younger aspirants. They were therefore disappointed to hear that he still retained his ambitions following persuasions from the core of his supporters to run. In fact, one of the younger aspirants had approached Buhari requesting for his endorsement but Buhari waved him off pointing to his alleged emotional instability and allegations of financial misappropriation of public funds.
Buhari subsequently flew out of the country to have a proper medical check up to confirm if his health is strong enough to withstand the rigours of his ambitions. It was as a result of this trip that the planned declaration scheduled for September 1 may be postponed.
Meanwhile, intrigues within the top hierarchy of the ruling party are continuing to unfold.
The foundation members of the APC, it was learnt are also laying out strategies to frustrate what insiders say is the plan by former PDP members in the party to buy up the presidential nomination.
Saturday Vanguard learnt that the plan inspired the introduction of the modified direct primaries as a method of checking the influence of the money bags.
“The use of the modified direct system or open ballot is to limit the influence of the moneybags and Atiku is one of the principal targets,” a source privy to the development said.
“You know many are afraid of Atiku, he has money, he has reach and if you allow the delegate system he has the capacity and the network to easily get the ticket and I can tell you that many people are simply afraid of Atiku” the source revealed.