By Kayode Abdulazeez, Ilorin
Aftermath his declaration to seek re-election in 2019 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has clarified that President Muhammadu Buhari would not be given automatic ticket as presidential candidate of the party.
Addressing Journalists in Ilorin, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the party would not denied any qualified interested aspirant opportunity to contest the presidential primaries election.
He explained that President Buhari was a stickler of rule of law and would not act contrary to the provisions of the law.
Mallam Abdullahi stated that the declaration of the President to re-contest has not forestall any interested aspirant to vie for the ticket, adding that the APC would ensure that each aspirant is treated equally.
The APC image-maker, however, insisted that the contest would be thrown open to any aspirant in any of political contest in the party.
“We are a progressive party and we cannot behave like the way PDP used to behave. Remember in 2015, PDP printed only one nomination form and awarded their presidential ticket automatically to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“In APC, there is no such thing. Our constitution does not make provision for automatic ticket and does not forestall other people from showing interest in the party ticket. What Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) himself has done is I am interested in contesting election. So, at this level, he becomes an aspirant. Until after the primaries and we follow the due process.
“As you know, President Buhari is a stickler for the rule of law. So, he himself would not want anything that would be done in contravention of either the Constitution of the party or the Constitution of the Federal Republic. And he is not going to stop anybody or other people who may want to aspire to the same position from contesting against him in the primaries.
“There is no question of throwing the contest open, because we will do what is in accordance with the Constitution of the party. If you do anything to the contrary, then we are following the provisions of our own Constitution.
“So far, it is only President Buhari that has indicated interest in contesting election, and he has done so by telling party members during the last Nationl Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that he has decided to re-contest. As far as we are concerned, he is the only aspirant at this moment.
“But like I keep saying, this does not forestall any aspirant in the future from coming in. And I’m telling you that as far as APC is concerned, we would go throw the normal process of selecting our flag bearers for the presidential election and all other elections at different levels”, the APC spokesman said.