ANALYSIS: APC Presidential Primary: How the candidates stand

Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari at the installation of House Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal as Mutawallen Sokoto

Today (Wednesday), no fewer than 8,000 delegates of the All Progressives Congress [APC} will gather in Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos to pick the party’s flag-bearer for the February 14 presidential election.

The delegates, both elected and statutory, drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, will choose from the five aspirants who are asking to be elected as the party’s candidate for a presidential election that bookmakers believe might be the most competitive since 1999, when Nigeria transited from military dictatorship to representative democracy. Whoever of the five is selected at the primaries will slug it out with  President Goodluck Jonathan, who is being ratified later today in Abuja as the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].

The APC presidential aspirants are (in alphabetical order) a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar;  a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari;  governor of Kano State, Rabi’u Kwankwaso; his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha and the founder of Leadership newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah.

The sixth aspirant,  the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who late in October left the PDP for the party, has since  withdrawn from the race soon after some of his friends and colleagues in the House bought for him the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms worth N27.5 million.

He opted instead to run for the governorship of his home state of Sokoto, and he won the party’s ticket Thursday.

In the last three months, Messrs Atiku, Buhari, Kwankwaso, Okorocha and Nsa-Isaiah have traversed the country selling their programmes to party faithful ahead of today’s presidential primary. So far, their campaigns have been decent, apparently in adherence to the party’s stern directive asking them not to engage in mudslinging and character assassination.

Discreet attempts by some party leaders to pick a consensus candidate among the aspirants were unsuccessful. All five contenders preferred to go into today’s contest, believing they  could secure victory in a credible primary.

According to the Chairman of the 24-member National Convention Committee, Kayode Fayemi, the party’s candidate will emerge by secret ballot. He also said the five aspirants signed an undertaken to abide by the outcome of the primary.

Part of the agreements was that the losers in today’s contest will not only strongly back the  winner that emerges, but will also not defect from the party.

“We use all sorts of names for these things – undertaking, consensus, understanding and so on. The important thing to us and the aspirants, which they have demonstrated, is that we don’t want to play into the hands of our opponents who are just waiting to see the collapse of the party,” Mr. Fayemi, a former governor of Ekiti State, said.

“That would shock Nigerians if we played into their hands. Nigerians want a credible alternative, they want this democracy to endure and the only way it will endure is if there is a fair competition and not a one-sided one.”

How The Candidates Stand

Atiku Abubakar: The former vice president, and one of Nigeria’s smoothest political operators, is not new to presidential contest.

In 2007, he ran for the first time for the nation’s topmost political job on the platform of the defunct Action Congress, AC, but came a distant third, behind the then Governor of Katsina state, Umaru Yar’Adua and Mr. Buhari.

In 2011, shortly after he returned the PDP, the party on whose ticket he was VP, he ran against Mr. Jonathan at the primary election, but lost.

He had much earlier, in 1992, showed interest in running the country on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the Third Republic. He came third in the presidential primary of the SDP at the time.

While formally declaring his fresh presidential bid to run on September 24, Atiku said one of the reasons he never gave up on Nigeria was because Nigerians had never succumbed to despair and hopelessness amidst difficulties and growing anxiety.

“This never-say-die attitude gives me immense hope and it is one of the reasons why I can never give up on Nigeria,” he said.

He lamented the poor state of the nation’s economy even as he recalled that the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, under which he served, successfully reformed some critical sectors of the economy such as telecommunications and the capital market.

Atiku, 62, prides himself as one of the most experienced in the race going by his credentials as vice president for eight years, a successful businessman and a retired civil servant.

With a largely successful political career spanning about 24 years, Atiku has clearly built bridges and political structures which he could deploy to dislodge  Mr. Jonathan from power next year.

Among the presidential aspirants, the former vice president appears to be the best prepared for the job. Recently he organised policy retreat aimed at fashioning a blueprint on how he would run the country if elected president.

During the retreat held at Obasanjo’s Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, sometimes in October, about 50 experts drawn from diverse backgrounds and competences analysed his policy document that will form the bedrock of his regime.

Again, with a deep pocket, the APC delegates might be swayed to his side. Not a few party faithful believe that if he gets the ticket, Atiku could single-handedly fund his campaign without looking at the direction of the party.

Although he does not enjoy the kind of followership in the North as Mr. Buhari, he is sure to share the northern votes this time at the APC convention with Messrs. Buhari, Kwankwaso and Nda-Isaiah.

Although bold and courageous, a major drawback could be his persistence defection from one party to another.

Some members of the party also see him as someone who is desperate to occupy the presidential seat. To these party members, the former vice president could be extremely independent-minded and would not be easily controlled by the party hierarchy, if he becomes president.

Perception is important in politics. During his fierce disagreement with then President Obasanjo in 2006,  he was portrayed as corrupt, and repeatedly investigated. The allegations have remained largely unproved and he has never been tried for corruption. However, it has remained difficult for Atiku to convince Nigerians that he came into politics already fully made and that he acquired his vast wealth through legitimate means.

Muhammadu Buhari: He is a retired major general, who ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985. He declared his renewed bid to rule Nigeria again on the APC platform at a well-attended rally on October 15, in Abuja.

He has contested for the office of president in three previous elections. His first outing on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, was in 2003 when he was beaten to second position by the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who got 24,456,140 votes. Mr. Buhari had just 12,710,022 votes.

Mr. Buhari tested his popularity once again in 2007, but was beaten by the then governor of his home state of Katsina, Umaru Yar’Adua. While Mr. Yar’Adua polled 26,638,063 votes, Mr. Buhari, who also ran in that election on the ANPP ticket came a distant second with 6,605, 299 votes.

In 2011, the retired general was on the march again. But at this time, he had fallen out with the ANPP and he and his supporters had floated the defunct Congress for Progressives Change [CPC]. It was on that platform that he ran against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in that year’s election. He lost to the president by 12,214,853 to 22, 495, 187 votes.

Although, Mr. Buhari had pledged not to run again after that election, he recently changed his mind claiming in a letter to some prominent Nigerians that he was concerned about the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country and would want to help address them.

On another occasion in Kaduna last month, the former head of state revealed how a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, prompted him to enter the presidential race again.

Regardless of how he joined the race this time, Mr. Buhari is optimistic he could fix Nigeria. He told a crowd of cheering supporters when he formally declared his plan to contest that he would place priority on protection of lives and property, pursue economic policies for shared prosperity and immediate attention on youth employment, provide quality education for development, modernity and social mobility; pursue agricultural productivity for taking millions out of poverty and ensuring food security while also reviving industries to generate employment.

He also promised to develop solid minerals exploitation, restore honour and integrity, tackle corruption and respect constitutional separation of powers between the arms of government.

But how far can he go in today’s primary election? Undoubtedly, the former head of state is one of the front runners in election. He parades impressive credentials, which includes experience in governance. He was a military governor and minister.

Having contested on three previous occasions, Mr. Buhari has built structures across the country, which would likely play in his favour.

What might sway the votes to him today is the cult-like followership he enjoys in the North of Nigeria. Delegates might prefer to invest in him believing his popularity might help the APC to defeat Mr. Jonathan in February. Indeed, not a few Nigerians believe that he stands a better chance of posing a threat to the PDP candidate in the North.

The delegates might also be influenced by Mr. Buhari’s acclaimed incorruptible disposition. For some party members, he might be the best option, especially in these times when the incumbent federal administration is perceived to be looking the other way in the face of massive and widespread corruption in the country.

Mr. Buhari also appears to be enjoying huge support from some party chieftains who could influence delegates to his side. For instance, it is speculated that he enjoys the support of another national leader of the party and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.

Mr. Buhari’s consistency in the opposition could also be a plus. Seen by his loyalists as a “born-again” democrat, the former military strongman, who terminated the civilian government of President Shehu Shagari in 1983, unlike the average Nigerian politician, never for once broached the idea of leaving the opposition despite losing elections three successive times.

However, the former head of state might face serious financial challenge in pushing his ambition through at the primary, which is why some of his supporters reportedly canvassed the idea of consensus candidacy which they believe might place him above the rest.

Besides, some party members are said to be tired of Mr. Buhari showing interest in every presidential race in the past three elections and would want him to retire from politics.

Another odd against the retired general is his age. He is 72, thus making him the oldest among the five contenders for the ticket. Some are already suggesting that he should give way to younger elements to try their hands in the presidential contest.

Rabi’u Kwankwaso: Alhough an engineer with a doctorate degree, Mr. Kwankwaso has had a progressive political career since 1991 when he quit the civil service voluntarily.

The Kano State governor, who leaves office in May, next year was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the botched Third Republic.

He ran Kano State as governor between 1999 and 2003 on the PDP platform, but lost his re-election bid to the incumbent Education Minister, Ibrahim Shekarau. He returned as governor in 2011, but before then, had held the portfolio of Defence Minister during Mr. Obasanjo’s second presidential term.

Mr. Kwankwaso, 57, is arguably a frontline runner for the presidential ticket of the APC, a party he joined last year.

His performance as governor has drawn followers to him in the last few years and he believes he can replicate same at the national level. He has repeatedly stated so at every opportunity he has to showcase his achievements.

Recently, the governor said he had been studying the problems facing the country over the years and had come to the conclusion that he had the requisite experience and expertise to tackle the issues and give Nigerians and Nigeria a new lease of life.

He said he is particularly worried about the nation’s security challenges. According to him, the inability of the Jonathan administration to tackle the situation is not acceptable because millions of Nigerians had been driven into some neighbouring countries.

“The situation is so bad that apart from those displaced by the insurgents, many other Nigerians have been hospitalised while others have gone into hiding just to save their lives, while the system continues to give assurance of victory,” he said.

“So many Nigerians have also been displaced in Chibok, Gwoza and Bama as well as other places in the country. This is not a good thing for Nigeria and we need to rise up and find a lasting solution to the problem, which is not beyond us.

“A situation whereby Nigeria’s leadership is encouraging division is not good for the unity of Nigeria. We should stop abusing the very people we are supposed to protect and give them a sense of hope and dignity.”

But will his performance in Kano be the only selling point?

Apart from his performance credentials, some see him as a bold and dogged fighter who could brace all odds in governance.

Also, analysts say pairing him with the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, as running mate, could threaten the PDP during the February presidential outing.

However, analysts believe that unlike Messrs Buhari and Abubakar, Mr. Kwankwaso does not have a national appeal that could give the APC an edge over Mr. Jonathan.

Also, his radical views on some national issues might be a minus for him, especially among party members in some parts of the South.

As things stand, he might not be able to match Messrs Atiku and Buhari in today’s primary election. But politics could be unpredictable at times, and he might just spring a surprise.

Rochas Okorocha: Mr. Okorocha, 52, the outgoing governor of Imo State, is the only southerner in the race for the APC ticket.

He was elected governor on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, but led his supporters and government officials to the APC during the merger talks between the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.

He had shown interest in the office of president in the past both on the platform of the PDP and the defunct ANPP. He had, however, never contested in the main election.

This time, he said he wants to be president because he can fix Nigeria and that he has a better performance credential than the other four as well as Mr. Jonathan to do so.

He added, “I want to be president because I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that I can fix Nigeria.   I am not in this race for primitive accumulation of wealth, but for service.

“Even if PDP, is given another 100 years, PDP will not perform, because they will remain what they are; so I depend on you and your vote to effect the needed change for a better Nigeria of our dream.”

As businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Okorocha, has built political bridges in the North, West and the East, his home region. He holds traditional titles even in the Muslim-dominated North. This confers great advantage on him.

Besides, his performance as governor since 2011 when he assumed office has become a reference point, particularly in that part of the country. But there are those who challenge his claim to have performed, saying some of his projects were cosmetic.

However, Mr. Okorocha’s hide and seek game over his political future is a minus. He is believed to be keeping the governorship slot to himself as a fall back position, even as he contests the presidential primary. Some say he is eyeing the vice presidential slot and that if he fails to pick it, he would revert to the governorship contest in his state.

Again, what may count against him at the primary is the belief by some party members that the presidential slot should go to the North.

As things are, it would be a huge upset if Mr. Okorocha prevails at today’s primary. That seems a distant possibility.

Sam Nda-Isaiah: This founder of the Leadership newspaper is a pharmacist by profession but his father, who died recently, was a journalist.

The 52-year old man has made a success in the media world and this success his supporters believe could be extended to governance.

“I want to be President to change the course of history of this country,” he once said. “I did not leave what I was doing which I was enjoying to come and get harassed simply because I want to feel good about it.”

Mr. Nda-Isaiah said he was not only coming with big ideas, he would be tough on corruption, which he accused the incumbent federal administration of condoning.

He argued that President Jonathan’s carriage does not indicate his willingness to fight the menace, saying, “from your body language, people will decide whether to be corrupt or not. If your idea is to suspend the Central Bank governor for raising alarm about corruption, are you now surprise that there is corruption in the land?”

However, a drawback for the newspaper man is his inexperience, politically. Though successful in the media world, among the contenders for the APC ticket, he is the least experienced. He is new in politics. He is not known to have occupied any political position in the past, which may be a minus for him. He is therefore seen as someone who is not strong enough to withstand Mr. Jonathan in the political battle.

Analysts have consistently argued that Mr. Nda-Isaiah should have tried his hands in lesser political offices, including a National Assembly seat before aiming at the biggest one. But many others have dismissed that suggestion, saying in his writings, he has demonstrated that he has what it takes to fix Nigeria.

Nevertheless, it was learnt that his frustration with the current state of affairs brought him into the race and that even if he loses, he would be comfortable with joining hands with an APC government in his state and in the centre in the task of rebuilding Nigeria.

Those close to him also say his current political adventure is a way of positioning himself for a plum job in case the APC forms the government at the centre in 2015, and ultimately to run for the office of the president in the near future.

VERDICT

An hour is a long time in politics. Anything can still happen before actual voting begins. The party might try once again to explore the possibility of throwing up a consensus candidate.

But talking to party leaders across the states and at the federal level, our analysts came to the conclusion that today’s primary election appears more a two-horse race between Messrs Atiku and Buhari, although the other contenders will definitely give them a run for their money.

Any of the two can carry the day.


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  • dave

    Buhari remain the best choice.Delegates should vote wisely

    • Peter

      For a jihadist? Voters shine your eyes proper and don’t get carried away!

      • wode

        You better open your mind to objectivity and have a focus on the goodness for the future of the country Nigeria. Do away with religious bigotry and ethnic jingoism because that wont bring the desired development.

  • kiliminati

    if Buhari doesn’t get the ticket, APC can as well forget it.

    • malaysia

      yes Buhari is Glorious for Nigeria now

  • AA

    Only GMB would make me vote apc in presidential election.

  • Sadiq Garba

    Buhari is it.

  • Sharia_Haram

    If Buhari get nominated instead of Okorocha, then it becomes a win-win for GEJ.

    • kiliminati

      lol

    • Maria

      Dreamer… because the hypocritical igbos like you will dump GEJ for okorocha an igbo man… can you see your primordial mindset and thinking? Buari will dislodge this shoeless liar from Aso Villa.

      • Peter

        But you know that Buhari is a jihadist.

        • wode

          And what does that mean? A baseless conjecture.

        • Maria

          Never… Buari is not a jIahdist and if you have proof, present it. By the way, since you are in power and you know he is a jihadist, why haven’t you arrested and prosecute him? This blackmail made me hate the man in 2010-2011, but this time, your criminal antics wont work on me… I have seen the light… my vote for GEJ was a colossal waste.

          • Goodway

            You don’t see the future,may be your short sited

  • abucheadams

    Atiku is visionary and experience. He is the only aspirant with clear plans and strategy to move the nation forward. If APC truly want to win 2015 election they need to produce a candidate who can contend with the incumbent president. I feel Atiku is the only candidate that can defeat GEJ. #ANigeriaForAll

  • King Carlos

    Hmmmmn… this battle is too close to call. To be honest, APC can do better than Atiku and Buhari. It’s so sad that ethnicity and religion and the monetization of Nigerian politics has sidelined better options like Fashola.

    On a brief analysis: Buhari seems to be a better candidate, there is some kind of consistency in his personality. Unlike Atiku who has baggages of allegations hovering on his head. I don’t even trust Atiku because his overnight humility and sudden love for the people seems not to be genuine.

    He’s a politician with great clout, which means that when he becomes the president he has a lot of people to satisfy, which is gonna be a problem later on. Buhari is someone that owes his loyalty to the masses, the people of Nigeria. He is not the type of politician that throws money around yet he has loyal followers that cut across the country.

    With all this, I will put my money on Buhari. Asiwaju Tinubu, being a master political strategist and good reader of personality knows too well that Buhari is better than Atiku. We all know that, Buhari will surely be Tinubu’s natural choice because an Atiku president will be too powerful for for him.

    Atiku has got a good plan for the country, but personality matters. Buhari is my choice.

    • wode

      Nice one, I like it.

    • Peter

      That is a wish and if a wish would do it for you, you wouldn’t be sitting where you are today. Let us face the reality. The two candidates of Atiku and Buhari put together, Jonathan will demolish them. It is only the cripple that boasts that it is only in his father’s house that food is served in the afternoon. You must open your eyes and ears and remove that your magician’s cloak for once.

      • King Carlos

        Agent of PdPigs. You are here echoing Olisah metuh and Okupe’s statements. You will be surprised when the wind of change blows all of you away. I know y’all got some freaking plans to rig. I bet it aint gonna work! People are dying everyday and yet you want the weak president to continue. you Know What, talk ia cheap.

        We shall meet at the polls.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    The media must stop projecting some candidates in preference to others. That is not fair at all. All contenders must be given a level playing field. No preferences now; let the party decide in today’s polls.

  • Mr. Abdin

    The primaries of the APC is a welcome development and believe very strongly that the party is in the better position to rescue this country from its present predicament. That is why APC remain opportunity for Nigerians to make a positive change that will impact positively on Nigerians. As for me Atiku remain the best among the aspirants because of his preparation in how to move and develop Nigeria for the better.God bless Nigeria amen.

    • Goodway

      That is what you think

  • Peter

    APC as a political party is founded on a vengeful mission of returning power to the north. Because of this thirst for power, especially one embedded on region and religion, I don’t think that it is going anywhere as it has nothing to offer apart from intimidation and peddling of falsehood. Ask yourselves why not even a single southerner is qualified in that party to contest for the presidency. Today is the party’s national convention to pick its presidential flag bearer and I want you to quote me that the whole exercise will end in a fiasco. The few southerners following them about know that they are being used as a gun dog. These southerners one way or the other have fallen out of favour with their former parties, particularly the PDP and are merely looking for any party, no matter how inglorious that party may be, just to be seen as relevant. Whoever is chosen today as APC presidential candidate is a disaster and will spell doom for the party come February 2015.

    • Troublesome

      Disaster my foot! so Jona the soul candidate of PDP for presidential ticket is not spelling doom for PDP. Please wake up from your slumber and say something else.

      • Peter

        If you believe all those thrash, then you believe anything. You are due
        for a surprise. Let APC come up with any one of those wishy-washy as a
        candidate and see how he will be bashed at the polls.

    • Dr. Kay

      I will be happy with that disaster than continue in the worst disaster we are in at the moment. So mister appeal to Dumbo to come and be a chairman of your local government or even your governor ,I don’t give a damn(sounds familiar isn’t?)

  • Badru Sanusi

    Hmmm Nigerians the journey is about to begin again.Are we going to respond to peoples “do what i do ” or “do what i say”.APC voters today please vote wisely to create a path out of slavery for us all as Nigerians.

  • Nuorah

    After various consultations with other youth group, elders, women group, in the country and leading political actors, ”it is increasingly clear that only the Former Vice President Atiku has the political stamina and sagacity to march PDP

  • Yunusa J.

    In GMB we stand!!

  • excel

    who ever emerge is good to go, APC is stand for the CHANGE we want in this country. enough of pdpig Egypt, is time to move Nigeria to the promise land. let put end to failure, corruption, insecurity, harassment, intimidation in Nigeria. APC is the CHANGE, the PROGRESSIVE PARTY is the APC.

  • Olutola

    Even a school cert from any other party is better than the incumbent. So I strongly believe any candidate of the APC will be far better than what we are battling and quarreling with at the moment. This administration have made Nigerians forget that IBB, ABACHA, ABDUSALAMI, OBJ were incompetent. Past looters of our country were suddenly made to look like petty thieves. Even thieves were startled by the level of impunity we have today. They could never have imagined anyone will show this open avarice or wanton avarice I should say.

    • Peter

      If you believe all those thrash, then you believe anything. You are due for a surprise. Let APC come up with any one of those wishy-washy as a candidate and see how he will be bashed at the polls.

    • Goodway

      Liar

  • Abiodun

    GMB Is the best

  • Vade Mecum

    Posers for APC apologists:

    What really makes Buhari a formidable force to reckon with?
    Why is he being touted as the messiah to save Nigeria from her burgeoning quandary?
    What makes him holier than thou?
    What are his real intentions for Nigeria/Nigerians given his undying thirst for power?
    Are those tooting his trumpet living behind reality curve or merely peering through rose-colored glasses?

    • Dr. Kay

      The question you should be asking yourself is what really makes Dumbo a formidable force to reckon with, why is he being touted by some ijaw thugs as their only messiah and blood will flow if he is not reelected, what makes Dumbo holier than thou, what are his real intentions of seeking 3rd term after his 1st two are nothing to write home about why is he having this insatiable thirst for ppwer is it motivated by greed and avarice?, in fact the country is far worse than he met it,are those rooting for Dumbo leaving behind reality curve (whatever you mean) or merely peering through rose tinted glasses, and the latter I have aplenty viz Deri, the truth , tawana incommunicado, etc etc so my friend over to you nah!

      • Peter

        You this dumb quack doctor. GEJ is seeking reelection for a second term.

        • Dr. Kay

          Lol is that all you could see in what I’ve posted? Suegbe, oniranu, I repeat , his third term , he was sworn in twice init?

          • Peter

            I am sorry for a quack like you. Except of course that you reason from the anus, I wonder where you got the ‘1st two terms’ of President Goodluck Jonathan for which he is now seeking the 3rd. Only native doctors reason this way.

          • Dr. Kay

            Your own brain is now in your arse and your many years of sitting on your useless bum doing nothing but Iranu and oshi has atrophied your brain, your logical and intelligence part is so tiny and miniscle that you can’t get the fact that completing Yar’a’dua’s term was his first term . If that is not first term then Shonekan must be stopped parading himself as a former head of state , he lasted 6months for crying out loud and he’s parading himself as a former stateman even attending meetings befitting the status . So in what category do you classify Yar’a’dua completed term by Dumbo? Oloshi oniranu.

      • Vade mecum

        Dokita Kay, I am not interested in your pyramid of piffles. Just answer my questions – perhaps we will learn a thing or two from your response.
        The truth of the matter is that no one can change Nigeria by mere pronouncements or sophistry. Project Nigeria should be a collective effort and we should start by changing our behavioral dna so that our dominant instinct becomes the instinct to do what is good and right.

        • Dr. Kay

          So you will rather status quo remains and Dumbo is given free rein and let loose on our collective intelligence? Otio , we will make do with the one we think is better than your Clueless Dumbo, that’s the beauty of democracy, one baby steps at a time

      • emmanuel

        which yeye doctor? Kay is an illitrate.

        The discuss here is majorly between Atiku and Buhari.

        Both of them combined are no match for Jonathan

  • sir Oscie

    Atiku is the best man.
    Support him!
    #ANigeriaForAll.

  • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

    As we awiat APC Candidate for President today.
    Buhari/Atiku vs Tinubu

    IF, IF, IF and IF Tinubu holds as much sway as he is touted to in APC then the most likely person to emerge the presidential candidate of APC today would have to be Atiku.

    Considerations:
    1. Buhari although he might be called puritan and anti-corruption, CANNOT probe past governments. Too many skeletons to let out even for himself. But one thing he can do is try to reduce (I doubt he will succeed though, but will only cause ‘avoidable friction) the ‘sharing’ of money at the centre. This Tinubu and co may not like. Atiku wins.

    2. Atiku is a rich businessman who understands well the ‘virtue’ of ‘interests.’ Given Tinubu in the equation, there is likely going to be an understanding in the ‘sharing’ of money at the center. Atiku wins.

    3. Swaying the delegates to vote this way or that involves a lot of money. Between Atiku and Buhari, the former has more to throw around. Atiku wins.

    4. Financiers willing to throw money around want someone who can ‘deliver’ after they win. Between the two, Atiku with the ‘virtue’ referred to earlier becomes more bank-roll-able.

    Above all, I wish them a peaceful commotion today.

    • Dr. Kay

      Stop your useless campaign PDPIGS apologist, GMB is the man and Tinubu’s body language leans toward Buhari. You guys are so scared to your balls of GMB, no more egunje, awoof money ,corrupt dollars and euro no more abi? You all go hear whey as Fela go say . So coolu temper una go see , don’t jump the gun. Atiku is not the candidate , we know who we want.

      • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

        hahahahahaha.
        E dey pain you.
        No be my fault.
        It is called logic.
        Learn some.
        Or counter it.
        Stop living on wish and hope.
        Crack some brain cells!
        You won’t die.

        • Dr. Kay

          Listen to yourself, na who e dey pain?i have already countered all the points you put out in one fell swoop. Meaning if your brain cells can’t crack it , you PDP apologists will always come out campaigns for Atiku, if he is that good I wonder how Dumbo was able to defeat him, as we all know Dumbo is a failure, so if what you prescribing for APC is someone who can’t beat Dumbo, we beg to disagree with your poison chalice, he can’t crack it here. Next please

          • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

            log·ic

            noun ˈlä-jik

            : a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something

            : a particular way of thinking about something

            : the science that studies the formal processes used in thinking and reasoning [copied]

            Missing in your submission. May be you would do a bit better in herbs, Dr.

          • Dr. Kay

            Mr. Logic can you please use your logic and analyse Dumbo 6years reign logically and reasonably , you still haven’t cracked the brain cells on the campaign you are embarking upon regarding your newly acquired friend Atiku, why are you now championing someone that your clueless Dumbo spanked silly for APC to present as our presidential candidate, by the way your answer must be “LOGICAlly” spelt out oh .Mr Logic

          • MrFesh+Ifebuche+Paschal

            stick to the point native dr.

          • Dr. Kay

            You don tire? Olodo!

        • Sword of Damocles

          No, it called “turning logic on its head”. And the only thing “paining” anybody, is the realization that the man from Daura cometh to bring purgatory to people of your “ilk”.. Hear yourself, “atiku would be the logical choice”, ha! Dont cry, dry your eyes. This is the same Turaki Adamawa that Baba used to play football form 1999 to 2007? Your “PHD” President is also having his coronation in Eagle Square today. The unopposed choice of the Looters & Betaryers, why dont you observe that farce and be silent. The time for the reckoning between those care for Nigeria & those who have stolen Her blind, will surely come soon, thrice a borvine.

      • emmanuel

        Buhari – Jihadist, A thieve in the nineteen seventies and an extreem ethnicist!

        • Dr. Kay

          Facts facts facts and more facts please , no beer palour gossipmongerings here please.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    I can see pundits all over here talking, removing their shoes and hitting them on the desk, in the famed Nikita Khrushchev style to drive home their ‘unassailable’ predictions or throwing their shoes, in the Middle East style, at people with dissenting opinions! But with the upsets we see all over the place in the various party primaries an observer with an open mind should and would not be surprised at the outcome of the forthcoming 2015 general elections. No doubt some diehard pundits and party faithful would be utterly disappointed! What the electorate would do at the polls would be something no one would expect. Nigerian politics and the associated elections are something that could be beguiling and would stun even the most astute observer; it is a phenomenon that should form topics for academic discourse and even school curricula at the highest level of calling.

    For me, I’d prefer to keep my fingers crossed, knowing full well that all the gladiators in this killer Roman amphitheatre are NIGERIANS, whether they belong to the PDP, APC, etc. Each of them knows what the other knows!

    • Enemona

      Nigeria’s elections are the easiest to predict.

      • Holderness

        Yes ooh! Much same way your many deceptive monikers and confusion theories are easier to predict/discern.

  • Enemona

    GMB, the people’s general all the way!

    • emmanuel

      you don wake up? I recall you went under after your master was caught bribing delegates at Owerri.

      Your APC screamed blue murder some weeks ago when part of the Abuja CBD (Eagle Square heighbourhood) was locked down during GEJ’s declaration.

      The PDP is not mudslinging you for locking down Ikorodu Road, Funso Williams Avenue, Surulere etc on the account of the APC?

      Meanwhile the APC rule is that there should be no name calling campaign within the party, but the only manifesto they haev for Nigerians is calling GEJ names – cheap party!

      • Enemona

        I don’t get you…. Been too busy making good money. You’re always here earning you pay-per-comment peanut. I’ve no hate for you but pity.

        • emmanuel

          My records – I pay corporate Income tax, VAT, Education tax, pension, NSITF for my staff. I am sue that gives you an idea.

          Biko tell us about yourself.

          Do I work for GEJ at Yahoo news, the economist, Reuters, etc?

          Good money you said, I beg bring some on the table, runaway commentator.

          • Enemona

            You see your lies in the open here.You pay NSITF as an employer? This and some other lies in your comment clearly shows you have no idea about employee and remunerating others. FAKE!

    • Goodway

      With him apc can’t make a positive change

  • Ebony

    Change is the law of life,and those who look only to the past or present are certainly to miss the future.Let the move to change begin now at the Apc convention,Gen.Muhammadu Buhari is the real game changer.

    • emmanuel

      change you said?

      Obasanjo came back and stole more than any leaving or dead Nigeria ruler.

      Buhari who had stolen Nigeria funds from Midland Bank account in the Nineteen seventies would clean out Nigeria if he finds his way back. But Nigerians will not have that as a change.

      Tufia Buhari. Even Atiku acknowledge that Buhari is a religious fundamentalist, while we all know his is an extreem ethnicist (He put the Foolanis under house arrest when he plotted a coup and scuttle Democratic rule in 1983 and jailed all non-Foolanis).

      His records speaks for him – A thieve, Religious fundamentalist and an extreem ethnicist!

      • guest

        So vote GEJ. Finish. Stop abusing people who are not of your ethnicity. Whatever tribe you are from, you are Nigerian and Nigerians are CLEARLY NOT and OBVIOUSLY NOT (given the state of our country) the smartest people on the planet.

    • Goodway

      May your bind or deaf

  • Wise Head

    It is highly disappointing that a paper wishing to be taken seriously should omit in this analyses Buhari’s biggest burden which is the widely circulated charge that he is an Islamic fundamentalist. His supporters are ready to kill and maim for his sake. The APC should have secured an undertaking from him that his supporters will not run riot and pose threats to lives and property if he loses in today’s primaries.

    • Peter

      True talk. I pray that the mayhem does not start this afternoon. God save those innocent Nigerians who may be caught in the cross-fire.

  • Wise Head

    Premium Times, I hope Atiku (who is believed to be your publisher) will still pay your salaries after this very unfavorable review. In writing on Buhari’s minuses, you blatantly closed your eyes to his religious fundamentalist problem. How can anyone claim to be doing an objective analyses on APC Presidential candidates without mentioning that? Even Buhari himself will be surprised that you omitted that. There is a widely held apprehension that his emergence as presidential candidate will escalate religious tensions in Nigeria. We are tired of arson and bloodshed. His supporters should be ready to accept his defeat or he would be held responsible for their acts of savagery

    • Dr. Kay

      PDP e-rat stop your rantings, it’s becoming lame, if you can’t do better than your beer palour gossipmongerings abeg leave the forum for people who won’t be peddling rumors and aso rock hatched mudslinging a la Wendell or is it Reno. Your religious fundamentalist views of GMB we know is a smokescreen to hide the real Bokoharam inside Aso Rock, Dumbo himself

    • Otile

      We must fight them back this time. The man should lose and simply go home, not heading to court or inciting his mob to murder Youth Corpers and innocent people who did not support him.

  • emmanuel

    Atiku’S monies is working, but his tainted records which includes PTDF thievery, Halliburton bribe scandals will not leave him alone. On yahoo news, he used a Bloomberg writter to call Buhari a three time election looser and Jonathan an incompetent leader, yet he forgot to call Atiku a renowned crook.

    He may win the APC primaries win bribes to the delegates which he is used to receiving and giving, but cannot muster half of the national votes Buhari will muster (Buhari on his own cannot stand Jonathan in the Presidential election).

    • Goodway

      Sure

  • Wise Head

    Well, if Gen Buhari’s wins in today’s primaries, he should present this cabinet list to Nigerians to convince them he has a formidable team to usher in the desired change, peace, progress and prosperity that the APC is promising Nigerians:
    ———————————
    Bola Tinubu — Finance Minister/EFCC Chairman
    Atiku Abubakar — Governor of Central Bank
    Imam Abubakar Shekau — Minister of Defence
    Oluremi Tinubu — Minister of Petroleum
    Dr. Junaid Mohammed — Minister of Peace/National Integration
    Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola — Minister of Religious Dialogue
    Lai Mohammed — Minister of Propaganda
    Rotimi Amaechi — Nollywood Minister in charge of Political drama and Private Jet Acquisitions
    Rabiu Kwnkwaso — Minister of state for Peace and Political Maturity
    Bukola Saraki —- Minister of Failed Banks Revival
    Nasir el-Rufai —- Minister of Social Media
    Emir Sanusi L. Sanusi — Minister of Women Affairs
    Murtala Nyako — Director of Due Process and Budgeting/Marriage Issues

    • emmanuel

      correct.

      The list was approved from Mecca after vetting by Sa’ad Abubaker and a committee of the Organisation of Islamic Country.

      The only caveat was that of Oluremi Tinubu who they felt may pass some proceeds of Crude sales to her Kinsman Ibori and Uduaghan who are a non-practising Christians? But that was ove rruled.

    • blueeyedkitten

      you’re so obsessed with buhari. imam shekau would do us a great help by bombing you out of existence.

      • Wise Head

        Glad you have now confirmed he is working with you. At least, it is no longer an allegation

        • blueeyedkitten

          with me? am i now your buhari?

        • Goodway

          Wise head your correct

      • Otile

        Imam Shekau, Allah ya gaffata mallam. Let him continue bombing birnin Kano until arrogant Kwankwaso leaves.

  • mami-kupa

    What we need now is change, which every Nigeria so much pray for, and the only candidate for that change is GMB.

    • mami-wahala

      Really? You should be fed to the dogs for making such a lame comment. GMB has long past his sale by date – you dey hear me?

      • blueeyedkitten

        because you said so? wow!

      • Goodway

        But he lack credibility,if he emerges as the winner
        it means apc has made thier biggest mistake

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Speak for yourself !! Nigeria will never be Islamized totally like you wish….your GMB will be defeated as usual !!

    • Goodway

      What Nigerians need is change but for good

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    The Islamo-centric APC is just going for a charade ! It is clear that as usual,the Yoruba elements have been intimidated into taking the back-seat as their Fulani Jihadist masters take up all positions,in line with an old tradition which started since the enslavement of Kwara Yorubas by Fulani Jihadists…….Tinubu will be settled later in monetary terms

  • Alore

    Tawanda or what do you call yourself, you are too parochial to be discussing an important issue that is so important to the future of Nigeria. You have a small mind , stop expressing your ignorant.

  • FortB

    I listened to all presidential candidates make speeches and I start wondering, don’t we have potential young leaders in our country that can take the nation to the next level? In this contemporary IT Computer age, all I see are analogue men who I strongly believe do not have what it takes to make Nigeria compete in the comity of nations globally. Buhari is the only one that comes close, but age, education, lack of in-dept exposure to contemporary global political, economic and security trends are glaring short-comings.

    The rest are just pretenders especially Rochas

  • Mr Bert Ediale Young

    Buhari have a lot more to offer than all PDP combined. Why? He is disciplined and would do his best to reduce corruption if not eliminate it. I am from south south Nigerian and a very strong Christian, I was a bit matured to witness Buhari and Idiagbon. The administration brought some level of discipline and I believe in Buhari any day any time. I don’t need any money to campaign for Buhari and his principles. If you believe in a future for NIGERIA and for generation unborn then vote BUHARI if he can not fix Nigeria now then forget it. Mr Young, UK

    • Ben Ololoma

      After GMB’s defeat to GEJ he stated he was done with politics, 4 years later he is on a losing streak again, what brouught him back, he claims it was not even his decision, does he know his onions? As a devout Christian, you should know that an unstable man does never succeed in anything, if others can talk him into contesting after his mind has convinced him he was done, does that sound like a man who can take his own decisions and stand by it?
      He is not only unstable, he is also a puppet.

      Remember MKO, when he declared himself President, word went round that if anything happens to place his declaration otherwise, there will be war, several years after his exit from this world, those who prompted him to make that declaration and promised him full support are throwing their weight on GMB.

      Let’s call a spade a spade and give credence to the deserving.

      When did wrong become a solution to wrong? What is wrong remains wrong, and two wrongs do not and can never make a right. A democratically elected government was booted out of power by Buhari and his gun trotting cohorts on the excuse that it was corrupt, did his showmanship end the corruption? He never had the antidote. The weight of the gun was deceptive I suppose. 32 years later, we are still screaming corruption, But we all know there is no more corruption, only stealing. Let the Judiciary be more effective The executive are performing their duties, are the Judiciary doing theirs? remember how many arms of government we have.

      If you love your children, have a rethink for them, don’t be deceived, social media does not win elections, votes do. will you vote? How much sacrifice are you willing to make so that your vote could count? Think again GEJ is the man of the moment and next 4 yrs.At least in all things he is stable.