Atiku’s loyalists ask Buhari to drop presidential bid

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

A political pressure group, Turaki Vanguard, has asked former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, to drop his ambition to contest the 2015 presidential election.

The group, which is canvassing support for the presidential bid of a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said in a statement that Mr. Buhari’s presence in the presidential contest would neither enrich it nor enhance the fortune of their party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Both Messrs. Buhari and Abubakar are among others seeking the APC’s ticket to run in the February election. The duo had one time or the other contested the election.

Some supporters of the former head of state have repeatedly asked Mr. Buhari to quit the race and support Atiku.

The Bauchi State chapter of the Buhari Vanguard had on Monday asked the former vice president to dump his ambition because he was no match for him.

The advice came about the same time a popular Islamic Cleric, Sheik Ahmed Gumi, advised Mr. Buhari against running for the president for the fourth time.

In the statement by its National President, Oladimeji Fabiyi, on Thursday, the pro-Atiku group said, “We, the members of the Turaki Vanguard, a political pressure group operating independently of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organization, having carefully monitored and observed recent pro-Buhari activities sponsored by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, hereby call on the former Head of State and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Major General Muhammadu Buhari to quit the presidential race.

“We are making this call on the former Head of State with all sense of responsibility having in mind that General Buhari will neither enrich the race nor enhance the political fortunes of the opposition APC whom Nigerians hope will salvage their country from the 15 years of death grip and mis-governance of the PDP.”

The group alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was clearly championing the emergence of Mr. Buhari, a retired army general, because it had mastered the art of defeating him and would be comfortable with his candidacy.

The Turaki Vanguard said it was no longer a secret that the PDP had armed itself with the ammunition to defeat the former head of state whom its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said was the “easiest to defeat,” having done so in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential polls.

“In making this call, we are mindful of the need for all patriotic Nigerians to help prevent another political ridicule of a former Nigerian leader like General Buhari, which would be unavoidable if he continues with his 2015 aspiration,” the group said.

“We hope the elderly and revered General will heed our advice and those of other respectable Nigerians like Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.”

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