2015: APC Plot to Dump Buhari for Tambuwal Thickens
Top leaders of the opposition All Progressives' Congress (APC) are considering stopping a former Head of State and front runner presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) from becoming its presidential candidate for the 2015 election, Pointblanknews.com can authoritatively reveal.
The chieftains, led by national leader Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, investigations revealed, are considering adopting as candidate the embattled Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal. The party leaders reportedly believe Tambuwal has more national acceptance than Buhari, and can deploy a huge war chest to floor President Goodluck Jonathan in a presidential election.
Tambuwal's recent defection from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not be unconnected with the assurances from Tinubu to give him the party's ticket.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that the campaign to stop Buhari is also being championed by Senator Bukola Saraki.
Saraki was one of the most powerful politicians during the Umaru Yar'Adua presidency. Yar'Adua's death however dealt a heavy blow to his influence in the Presidency. The senator has since been at daggers drawn with the Jonathan administration.
“Any wonder Saraki has more than a passing interest in who becomes president in 2015?” a senate source told Pointblanknews.com.
Tinubu is reportedly uncomfortable with the presidential aspirations of such aspirants as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Kano State governor Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso.
The former governor of Lagos State had reportedly complained to a few party chieftains that Atiku cannot be trusted. Tinubu had reportedly cited what he called the political vacilations of the former Vice President as proof of his trust problem.
The APC leader had also reportedly compained of the betrayal he suffered in the hands of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In 2011, Tinubu had reportedly helped Ribadu clinch the presidential ticket of the now rested Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The former EFCC boss had a few months ago declared for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and had sought the party's ticket to become governor of Adamawa State.
Sources close to the APC national leadership confirmed to Pointblanknews.com that Tinubu and Saraki were already working on top party leaders to drop Buhari for “a more vibrant Tambuwal.”
General Buhari contested presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011. On the three occasions, the retired General lost to candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In the three elections, Buhari failed to poll the required 25 percent votes in at least 17 southern states, fueling fears in the APC camp that he may never be able to win in the South.
According to the 1999 Constitution, to become president, a candidate is required to, in addition to winning the majority votes cast, clinch at least 25 percent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Tinubu and Saraki, Pointblanknews.com investigations revealed, are systematically indoctrinating other party leaders on the difficulty in selling Buhari in the south.
APC governors, on the other hand, are reportedly mounting pressure on the party leadership to concede the vice-presidential slot to them as a precondition to play ball.
“I can confidently inform you that only a miracle can save General Buhari from being replaced by a new contestant who will be endorsed as our standard bearer in 2015. You see, the whole thing is about politics and strategic reckoning beyond the electability factor,” offered an APC source.
He continued, “The new thinking of these leaders who are capable of deciding so many things in the party is that prevailing opinion suggests that General Buhari may not be able to beat Jonathan in the general election contrary to earlier projections.
“They may be right but I still have my doubts. But curiously, they want to anoint somebody outside the current co-contestants which I am afraid is capable of setting up a real implosion in the party.
“I am aware that from Lagos to Abuja, the scheme is gathering dust with the governors but only time will tell”, the source added.
Another highly placed Lagos-based source confirmed the moves, but warned on the consequences of dumping Buhari at what he dubbed “the eleventh hour.”
He stressed that the plot to dump Buhari was not helped by the realization by many APC faithful that the plotters could not be working in the best interest of the party.
He cautioned that any move to dump Buhari would send wrong signals and disrupt the outcome of the presidential primaries and indeed affect APC chances in the 2015 general elections.
The chieftain held that of all the APC aspirants, only General Buhari has the following and credibility to beat President Jonathan..
“The whole idea of changing Buhari for another presidential hopeful different from the collection we have in the party right now started about two weeks ago.
“It is a move the Northern elements in APC in particular will most likely reject because not many would see it as they want us to believe. The question to ask is if the new man can do better than Buhari or the others in a nationwide election and coming at this time ahead of our primaries and the general election,” said the party chieftain.
” I think it is nothing but a huge distraction. It makes us wonder whether these Leaders really want to defeat Jonathan or leave the party broken before the general elections. We have seen what General Buhari can do going by the results of previous elections and know the political antecedents of the other aspirants.
“The electoral value of our merger in a nationwide election will be different this time. What I know is that any attempt to carry out this action will be catastrophic for the party. It will certainly tell the Nigerian people we are not different from the PDP and that would be very unfortunate,” he declared.
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