By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday stressed that he declared his 2019 reelection bid earlier than expected in order to douse rising tensions and dare his opponents to stop their nuisance and declare their own intentions too.
Speaking at the State House, Abuja while receiving members of the Buhari Support Group Centre (BSGC), Buhari said his move was also meant to give his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), enough time to prepare for the polls.
The President explained that he noticed speculations were already constituting distraction to governance and stirring tensions, so he had to act fast.
His words: “I had to announce before the National Executive Committee of our party about my intention to ask for the party’s nomination for next year’s election so that we can save a lot of time and cool tempers.
“A lot people were trying to make it a habit of being a nuisance to themselves and many Nigerians, so when I came out I said those who are serious let them come out.
“And I tried to make sure that the party is organized and consolidated so that we start from the bottom to the top, and that Nigerians will be involved in a way that each constituency will pick those that are going to represent them at various levels, whether as Local Government chairmen, in the State Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and finally the president.”
The President also pointed out that the early declaration guaranteed more participation and inclusivity within the party, and further strengthened the bond with supporters and Nigerians.
“Some of the people thought to be uneducated and unsophisticated are very educated and sophisticated during elections; for those who have money to give they say bring the money we will still do what we want to do,’’ he added.
Buhari recalled that God’s divine intervention and the use of technology during the 2015 elections exposed the weakness of previous processes where a privileged few sat and allocated figures to constituencies during elections.
“They just sit and look at a constituency and they award the numbers, then they say anybody who disagrees should go to court; now for somebody who is looking for the next meal where does he get money to pay Senior Advocates of Nigeria?
“Thank God for technology, with the PVC you know where you registered and it can be shown whether you voted or not,’’ the President said.
In his remarks, the Coordinator of the BSGC, Umaru Dembo, said “through thick and thin, rain or sun shine, hot or cold we are here to assure Mr. President that since 2014 we have been working, expanding and helping to explain the new life that your government has ushered in for the good people of Nigeria.’’
He said the BSGC had initiated the documentation of the President’s achievements in a book authored by Dr Sani Muktar Bichi and himself.
Dembo assured the President of a bottom-up process of mobilising more supporters for the administration, while appreciating him for reversing the trend of impunity, corruption and lawlessness that reigned before 2015.
Dembo said the BSGC was an umbrella organisation encompassing “Women for Buhari and Osinbajo’’, “A Kasaa Tsare’’, “Northern Youth Assembly,” “Buhari Renewal mandate’’ and others in support of good governance in Nigeria.