A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, praised the courage of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC, despite the odds stacked against him.
He said the Speaker did not only take a risk by dumping the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to join the opposition APC, but also strategically adjourning the House till December apparently to douse tension.
Mr. Tambuwal announced his membership of the APC during the House plenary session on Tuesday. Soon after he made the renounced his membership of the PDP, he adjourned the legislature till December 3.
Speaking when he and three other presidential aspirants on the platform of the APC, were presented to the delegates to the party’s extra-ordinary convention of the party in Abuja, Mr. Buhari said he was overwhelmed by Mr. Tambuwal’s action.
“We will like to thankl Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal for what he did yesterday. We were overwhelmed,” the former head of state said. “And it was only yesterday I admit that I ask what profession is he and I was told he was a lawyer, I say no wonder.
“Taking such a remarkable risk and sending everybody on holidays till December is an achievement. By now we will be sounding like a broken record about the objective of the APC. Our intention God willing is to secure this country and to efficiently mend it. So God help us.”
The presidential aspirant congratulated the four parties that fused into APC, noting that as early as 2005, it was realised that to be able to beat the ruling PDP, the leadership of the opposition parties needed to come together.
He congratulated the parties for the successful merger.
On his part, another aspirant and governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, said the party must bury religious and ethnic differences in order to achieve the aim of sending the PDP out of power.
He prayed that if his presidency would not guarantee food for the common man, provide free education up to university level, cannot unite Nigeria, God should not allow him to succeed in his bid to rule Nigeria.
Mr. Okorocha said the APC was a new party for a new Nigeria and “we must stop singing the song for religion in our party neither should we sing the song of tribe in our party. This perception that our party must produce a president from one part is not necessary. What is required is a president that can put food on the table of the common man.
“We came together because PDP has failed Nigeria. PDP has not been able to put food on the table of the common man. It is for you our delegate, it is for you to search your conscience and choose who you think in your best interest can move this nation forward. ”
Addressing the delegates, the founder of the Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, who said the APC was one family, stated “if you are one of the 48 million unemployed people in Nigeria, if you are afraid to go to church because you think you will be killed, if you are afraid to go to the Mosque because you are afraid you will be killed, if you are afraid to send your children to school because they can be burnt alive as they did in Buni Yadi, if you are afraid that your daughters can be kidnapped, in 2015 there is only one party to vote for, vote APC.”
Another aspirant, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, who is the governor of Kano State, thanked those who on Tuesday attended his formal declaration of interest to contest the presidential election. He said the APC was prepared to save Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the five presidential aspirants on the platform of the party, agreed at the convention to conduct their campaigns with decorum ahead of the primary in December.
The National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, read out the agreement the aspirants reached by the aspirants and the national leadership of the party and called for the delegates’ endorsement.
According to him, the aspirants, including a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who was not at the convention, agree as follows:
-They will respect each other and the values and constitution of our party;
-They recognised that they are all honourable men capable of distinguishing themselves as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
-Accordingly, they have all pledged to be open and available to discuss all options and ensure their emergence without acrimony, everyone emphasising his merit, no one attacking below the belt any other competitor for this office;
-They obliged themselves on behalf of themselves and their supporters that their campaign must be a decorous campaign and that at the end of the day only one of them will be candidate; and
-They therefore commit themselves to working, as if they are working for themselves, for whoever emerges victor at the primary. I hereby present to you four of the five aspirants to you.
Mr. Kwankwaso confirmed the pact, saying what the chairman read on our behalf, he read our minds and I want to confirm on behalf of four of us here and Turaki of Adamawa that what he said we are in agreement 100 percent.”