The All Progressives Congress (APC), Sunday declared that it was not aware that President Muhammadu Buhari was preparing to seek a second term in office in 2019.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with New Telegraph, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Sunday, declared that it was not aware that President Muhammadu Buhari was preparing to seek a second term in office in 2019, adding that the party has not received any communication from Buhari about his re-election plans.
When asked to clarify that the president has not notified the party on his re-election ambition, Oyegun said: “Yes, that is true.”
The APC national chairman further said that whether by declaration or writing officially to the party, the president must inform the party of his intention to seek re-election.
He said: “I don’t even know where you people are picking this information from. The president has not told the party formally, officially, that he wants to run for second term. We only read these things in the newspapers. So, officially, I’m not aware that Buhari is running again. I only read what you people write.”
When asked if the president must inform the party that he is seeking re-election, Oyegun said: “Either he inform the party officially or he make a declaration or whichever, he will certainly take a decision.”
Speaking further, Oyegun said that the party would deliver whoever its presidential candidate is in 2019 in the general elections. He said it was not in his place to talk about APC delivering President Buhari in 2019. According to him, the party would deliver whoever emerges as its presidential candidate.
Asked on what premise the ruling party would want to come back to power in 2019, the APC National Chairman said: “I can say to you with every sense of responsibility that the polity is settling down. I can say to you emphatically that the economy is recovering strongly.
"We are out of recession clearly and the economy is beginning to grow. I can say to you emphatically that in the critical areas that promotes development as distinct from growth, the policy of the party and the implementation are firmly grounded.
“Whether you are talking of power, without which no nation can develop, it has stabilized reasonably. We still have a long way to go. I am not saying the problem has been solved. The commitment alone on the Mambilla Power Station is a major step forward; the bringing back upstream of projects that have been abandoned has contributed to rising generation capacity to what it is today.
The strengthening of the transmission facilities is on-going. That is the back bone that delivers any power that you can generate to the distribution centres.
“What is important and what this Buhari administration has achieved is that it has stabilized the situation; it has started the process of substantial growth in power generation. It has substantially firmed up the capacity to transmit and a lot of work is going on in the distribution network.
“A nation without a functional rail system is only making pretences at development. It is the rail transportation that is the backbone of meaningful industrialisation. Here again, the Buhari administration has taken giant steps, not in words, but in practical terms, such that construction is already in progress in different areas of the country.
“Also, a nation that cannot feed itself cannot make any pretences of being a serious nation. We are now firmly in the process of being able to feed ourselves in the critical grains and critical crops that form the bedrock of our people’s diet.
“So, the picture I am trying to paint is that the new foundation for growth of this nation is in place and it is being improved on a daily basis. The greatness and future of this nation is going to be built on agriculture; it is going to be built on our transportation; it is going to be built on our ability to deliver power. In fact, once we can solve substantially, the problem of power, the crisis of employment will begin to disappear.”
Oyegun’s position was corroborated by the chairmen of APC in Oyo and Kwara states. The APC Chairman in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke, who spoke through the party’s Public Relations Officer, Wale Sadare, said that the party has not received any information that the president is running.
Oke said: “Oyo APC does not exist in isolation. We have national leadership, which we rely upon on the issue of 2019 presidency. Since our national leadership has been found to be competent and reliable, we await directives on when to set the ball rolling to enable us better the 2015 feat and consolidate on the numerous achievements of the party both in Oyo State and the National level