A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has vowed not to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his bid to be reelected in 2019.
Mr. Na’Abba made this vow during an interview with a TV presenter, Osasu Igbinedion, where he also revealed that Mr. Buhari had in November 2017 disclosed to the members of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Party (APC) that he would seek reelection.
The former speaker, who is a member of the board, explained that he left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling APC in order to support Mr. Buhari, but said he is now disappointed with the outcome as the president “has not added even an inch of value to democracy.”
“From his utterances, I believed he wanted to improve democracy. This is three years into his administration, he doesn’t work with the party, he regards party members as evil, he doesn’t consult anybody in the party.
“I had the occasion to sit down with the president and tell him this is what is wrong. And all he told me was that things were wrong before but now, with his election, everything is right. And I was very, very disappointed.
“He promised to reconstitute the boards. Before, he refused to do that because he thought politicians are responsible for all the evils in this country. He also promised to increase the number of ministers. In a nutshell, the president has not added value to democracy by an inch. It is only when there is democracy and competence that every Nigerian, regardless of who they are, will be able to make it on life. There is no way I can support him”, he said.
When asked if the APC would produce another presidential candidate other than Mr. Buhari, Mr. Na’Abba said some party members have ”hijacked and pocketed the party.”
He distanced himself from those endorsing the president for a second term.
“Nigerians have chosen democracy as the system within which they produce their leaders, and that any president who comes must ensure that the democratic architecture is improved substantially because it has been weak, it is still weak and will continue to be weak.
“They said they have endorsed him to contest. I am sure they did not ask the opinion of anybody since they have put the party in their pocket,” he said.
He added that, ”there is no democracy in the country and no democracy in the party as well,” and that, ”Nigerians are in serious trouble.”