The National Chairman of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, John Oyegun, has stated that the leadership of the party will gladly welcome the emergence of a consensus candidate to run as presidential candidate of the party in the 2015 election.
Speaking while former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, visited the National Secretariat of the party to pick his expression of Intent and Nomination forms on Thursday, Mr. Oyegun said once all the aspirants that picked the forms agree to a consensus, the leadership will have no objection.
“I will give you one clear assurance; if there is consensus amongst the aspirants; we as a party will welcome it completely. But if there is no consensus, we are going to give you the cleanest, most transparent primaries,” he said.
Mr. Buhari is the second aspirant to pick the nomination forms; the first being former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The APC chairman said both candidates are good and sellable materials that can beat any candidate from other parties, which proves that the APC is different and have potentials.
“When we hold our primaries, we will teach this nation a big lesson in democracy,” he said.
Mr. Oyegun added that the APC leadership have been constantly inundated with calls by Nigerians to ensure that the party holds free and fair primaries without rancour.
“The implication of their statements is that once we had a successful primary without rancour and also end up supporting whoever emerges as one big family, nothing is going to stop our victory,” he said.
Further responding to Mr. Buhari’s complains over the high cost of the party’s nomination forms, Mr. Oyegun, who said it was a deliberate decision to “separate the boys from the men”‘ added that Mr. Buhari needed not complain because there are many Nigerians willing to come to his rescue.
“We know you, I don’t expect that you have N27million under your bed, but I expected that there are Nigerians who will vouch for you and are ready to stand for you any day”.
Mr. Buhari, after laying his complaints over the nomination fees, however said he was glad to have picked the forms.
“I thank God that we have come to this stage and all forms of speculations will now cease,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, a former Governor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva, who led Mr. Buhari’s delegation to the APC secretariat, informed the gathering that as obedient party members, they are willing to abide by the guidelines of the party in terms of the party’s primary system.
“In a few weeks we will have a presidential candidate for this party, either through consensus or through primary election; it is up to the party to decide. Whichever way it comes, we are ready,” he said.
Mr. Sylva also advised all members of the party to rally round Mr. Buhari if he emerges as the candidate of the party.
He also said apart from picking the forms, the delegation was at the secretariat to thank the party’s leadership for the support the Buhari team received a day earlier when he declared to run for president.
He also reiterated that the APC would win the 2015 presidential election.
“The ship of the APC is now sailing and it will not stop sailing until it berths at the Aso Villa in 2015,” he said.