The emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the flag-bearer of the All Progressive Congress, APC, is a fatal error, the Nigerian presidency has said.
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Monday morning, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said the opposition party made a grave mistake at a time Nigerians were clamouring for development and a dissociation from anything or anyone that has anything to do with the country’s past.
“When Major Buhari emerged as the APC flag bearer, I knew that was a fatal error,” he said. “It’s a fatal error because number one, Nigerians are looking for future development, you know, a disengagement from everything that has got to do with our past. You are looking at Major General Buhari, Babangida, Abdulsalam, Obasanjo. These are very respectable elders and leaders who have done their best but they are a phase of our leadership that is passing off.”
Mr. Okupe, a member of the ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the opposition could not be talking about change with someone who would remind Nigerians of their gloomy history.
He said it was important to note that Nigerians needed to make a clear decision between having a transformation agenda that had worked and produced results and one which, he said, did not have vision.
“For APC to have now brought, you know, part of our past history that we are not so proud of and then you are talking about change, you know, how can you make a change with somebody who was part of our problem?” he asked.
“We know that Nigerians are not stupid, you know, a clear decision will have to be taken between having an agenda – transformation agenda – that has worked, that has produced and having listened, you know, Buhari has spoken about three occasions – at his declaration, at his inauguration, I mean, at his primaries. I have asked people; nobody can remember anything that Buhari has said.
“There is no vision, you know. The only thing that has been told to us – not even by him but by other people – is that Buhari has integrity and he is honest and he is incorruptible which are also not true,” he said. “At the appropriate time, these issues will be taken up.”
He also said he was sure his boss, President Goodluck Jonathan, would defeat Mr. Buhari and win the 2015 general elections.
Mr. Buhari, a former Nigeria’s Military Head of State emerged the presidential candidate of the APC on December 10 following the party’s presidential primary election that also included a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha; Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and the publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah.
Mr. Buhari will be contesting against Mr. Jonathan at the presidential election scheduled for February 14, 2015.