- Mind-blowing account of alleged sell – out uncovered
By Sonia O’Abah
Long before the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters of Gen. Mohammed Buhari (rtd) had taken it for granted that their hero would play a significant role in the emergence of whoever would be the party’s presidential candidate come 2015. Given that Buhari had clinched the same ticket in his two previous political parties (ANPP and CPC) the general consensus was that he would have a smooth sail if he opted to run for the presidency again on the APC platform.
In fact, it is believed that one of the conditions which was mutually agreed upon before Buhari’s CPC agreed to team up with ANPP, ACN, and APGA to form APC, was that he would be given the right of first refusal, should he opt to run for the plum position once again. Although this claim could not be confirmed as at press time, this medium gathered that Buhari’s recent decision to throw his hat into the ring once again is largely anchored on the “understanding” that he would be anointed as APC’s candidate at all costs.
It would be recalled that in Buhari’s previous three outings (twice on the ANPP platform and once on the CPC platform) he had never contested any primary poll. Rather, the retired general had gleaned his party’s ticket by virtue of a rather opaque consensus arrangement. Not surprisingly, he apparently joined the forthcoming presidential race with the confidence or assurance that he would emerge by consensus when APC meets next month to pick its presidential candidate.
But if the information at our correspondent’s disposal is anything to go by, Buhari may be in for a rude shock. As one of his main challengers for the APC candidacy, Atiku Abubakar, has repeatedly affirmed as early as last weekend, a direct primary and not a consensus deal, would determine who eventually clinches the prized nomination.
Incidentally, aside from Atiku who is not only an erstwhile vice president but also a former presidential candidate, two other high profile personalities are also angling for the APC presidential nomination. One is the incumbent governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwakwanso; the other is the speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwa.
Indication that Buhari would not find his path to the APC nomination as easy as what he had been privileged to enjoy in ANPP and CPC, emerged when Atiku and the Kano helmsman as well as the House of reps Speaker picked their respective Expression of interest and Nomination forms. This development is said to have taken Buhari unaware.
“What we had been made to understand hitherto,” said one of the retired general’s close lieutenants, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “is that there would more or less be no any other contestant for the Party’s presidential candidacy. The deal, you see, is that in the event that he (Buhari) elects to run for the presidency, he would not be opposed by any other APC member. As such, the latest development is rather not only puzzling but a source of concern to us”.
And it’s not difficult to understand this “source of concern.” According to high level sources who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, reliable information at the disposal of Buhari and his campaign managers indicate that contrary to the much hyped “understanding” and “assurance” which he had reportedly extracted from APC’s strongman, Bola Tinubu, and other leaders of the leading opposition party, signs of “what appears like a grand design” to upstage him have begun to flash ominously.
Consider Atiku Abubakar, for instance. According to an unconfirmed piece of information, he had resigned to trying his luck either in PDP or PDM (the party he allegedly sponsored prior to his emergence in APC last year by one of the party’s chieftains. “The said gentleman pointedly assured him that should he want to run for the presidency come 2015, he would have a smooth sail,” another insider squaled to this medium. “The impression he was given all along was that even if Buhari were to join the race, Atiku would be preferred to the retired general”.
That, however, is not the only thing giving Buhari sleepless nights. DESERT HERALD gathered that with the exception of Atiku, one of the two other aspirants is strongly believed by the ex-Head of state’s camp to have been allegedly “stage – managed” into the APC primary race principally with a view to putting a spanner in Buhari’s work.
“What we suspect is that those behind the anti – Buhari ploy are operating with the option that should Atiku fail to defeat him either in a consensus deal or primary election, the other so-called aspirant would be used to truncate his bid,” continued the Buhari lieutenant who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the issue. “The only thing we are yet to confirm is whether the whole shenanigans is being scripted from within our party (APC) or by the other side (the PDP)”
Publicly, the body language of the APC leaders seems to indicate their preference for God. Buhari as their party’s standard bearer, given his universal popularity in the North Privately, however, they are reportedly “worried” that fielding him would compromise APC’s aspiration, given the baggages being attached to Buhari by PDP’s adroit propagandist – notably his alleged religious extremism and rigidity.
In the head of this alleged shifting loyalty, the ruling party is believed to be “persuading” one of the brains behind APC to play a spoiler in Buhari’s presidential bid. Although it could not be confirmed if the said APC chief has succumbed to PDP’s charm offensive, authoritative sources revealed that he has been offered irresistible carrots, including a sweet heart oil deal.
From the look of things, Buhari’s presidential bid is likely to confront some storm in the weeks ahead. Even if he survives the “coup” looming against his bid to win APC’s nomination, can he survive the ruling party’s nocturnal onslaught ahead of the 2015 race? Time shall tell.