President Buhari receiving the nomination forms
– commits to building corrupt-free Nigeria
– Amaechi says N45m paid contributed by hundreds of people
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja was presented with the APC Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms by a group, the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network, NCAN, to contest the 2019 presidential election.
At the ceremony, he reiterated his administration’s determination to continue on the path of building a strong, virile and corrupt-free Nigeria.
The president spoke after receiving the forms bought for him by the NCAN, observing that the All Progressives Congress, APC, would now be stronger as the weakest politicians had left the party.
Referring to the defections that engulfed the party in recent times, he said those who left the party could not place national interest above their selfish interest in line with the objectives of the administration.
The president who highlighted the achievements of his administration in the past three years, said corruption has been fighting back from both within and outside the administration.
“These achievements over the past three years had not been easy. Corruption has been fighting back from both within and outside but we held our ground.
Today, I’m pleased to say the weakest among us, those whose selfish expectations did not align with our patriotic zeal had exited our party.
We are now a party of strong and patriotic individuals who are ready, willing and able to continue on this journey of building, secured, self- sufficient and corruption-free Nigeria.
I am honoured today to receive this nomination form which your members from all over the country contributed to buy.
It is a gesture from an association of patriotic Nigerians which I was made to believe comprises of over three million members which believes in our principle of bringing positive things to Nigeria,’’ he said.
Expressing gratitude for being honoured by the NCAN, he said that his vision to rescue the nation began in 2002.
The President, who narrated his political history, said his decision to contest for the presidential seat in 2007, was informed by the sorry and hopeless state the nation had found itself in 2006.
He added that his decision was predicated on the state of hopelessness in the country where selfish interest of elected leaders superseded national interest.
President Buhari, however, condemned the way and manner the 2007 general election was handled, saying the result of the election was a disgrace to the nation.
He thanked the leadership and members of NCAN who contributed part of their meagre resources to buy the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms.
The Deputy Chairman, Board of Trustees of the NCAN, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the association is a network of young Nigerians in various fields of endeavour who had been keeping tab of the policies, programmes and projects of the Buhari administration.
He said the association did this with a view to making an informed contribution towards the growth of a virile and stable country.
According to him, in spite all the challenges, the Buhari administration has delivered and continues to deliver on its promises, and other matters arising in the course of governance.
“From the massive re-establishment of security of life and property by reclaiming the territorial integrity of our country even in the face of threat from within, to the redirection and strengthening of our economy, by increased productive capacity in Agriculture and financial prudence even in the face of an almost negative balance sheet in 2015.
The massive infrastructural development whilst growing our reserves.
He has also reined in systemic corruption by firmly enforcing even erstwhile policies, which no one had the courage or the strength of character to enforce, be it the TSA, the IPPSA, the EGP, the operating freedom of law enforcement, in dutiful compliance with the laws of our land. The list is endless.
Nigerians for the first time in many years could see a leader who painstakingly took decisions solely on the bases of national interest, above his or anyone else’s.
A leader who belongs to all and behooving to our country and to God only, Who in HIS infinite Mercy brought our president back from the brink of death and restored him to strength and vigour.’’
He said the association, whose network seeks to consolidate these gains, has decided to contribute its intellect, and little earnings towards ensuring that the president was encouraged to continue with his good works to Nigeria.
“It is on account of the resolve of these ambassadors that they proceeded to obtain the nomination form for the president from the All Progressives Congress, to encourage Mr President to seek to be re-elected for another term to help consolidate the work he is doing,’’ he said.
The high point of the event was the handing over of the APC Presidential Nomination Form by the National Coordinator, Members of the Board of Trustees of the Consolidation Ambassadors Network of Nigeria to the president.
Shortly afterwards, the Director-General, Buhari Campaign Organisation who is also the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, explained that the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms presented to the President were bought by a large number of people who made contributions.
Amaechi made this clarification while briefing State House correspondents shortly after the forms were presented to Buhari at the presidential villa.
The group said it bought the forms to encourage the president to seek re-election and continue his developmental strides.
Amaechi said that the gesture showed that the APC is ready for the 2019 election, saying: “This is a group of persons; some people paid less than N1 million; some paid N50,000; it is a group of hundreds of thousands of people that came together to buy form for the president.
“I do not see any law we have broken by that.
Not one person bought the form for Mr President; not one person brought the money; not two persons; not three; what we saw from their database is hundreds of thousands of persons that raised the money.
You can see the huge delegation that came; it is an indication that we are prepared for the election.
The president has put the first step forward to show that he wants to run for the second time for the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.
On his part, APC National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, said that even in advanced democracies, once the National Executive Committee (NEC) of a party passed a vote of confidence on the president, nobody would contest with him.
According to Buni, NEC is the highest organ of the party to take decisions where every interest is represented.
“So, NEC of APC has passed vote of confidence on Mr President; that means every APC member endorsed Mr President.
it is a democracy, we are not saying nobody should come out and contest but the president has right of first refusal,’’ he said.
More so, Farouk Aliyu, Chairman, Board of Trustees (NCAN), told State House correspondents in an interview that the forms were purchased with contributions from across the country.
He said the NCAN was excited that Buhari accepted the forms, adding that the group would go back to their localities and work towards the re-election of Buhari in the 2019 presidential polls.
“What motivated the young Nigerians to buy the forms is their belief that whatever the president is doing is for the future of the younger ones,’’ he said
APC had earlier pegged its presidential nomination fee to N55 million but later reduced it to N45 million.