President Muhammadu Buhari defied several
appeals to him to reject the expression of interest and nomination
forms purchased for him by the National Consolidation
Ambassadors Network (NCAN) and received the forms at a brief
ceremony in the State House.
Buhari, who said he was not only grateful but also honoured to be
presented with the forms by persons he described as patriotic
Nigerians, pointed out that members of the group contributed
money to raise N45.5 million for the purchase of the forms.
He also said members of the group were not fewer than three
million Nigerians, whom he said were spread across various parts
of the country.
The president chronicled how his foray into politics began in 2002
up to the time of his election in 2015 and described members of
the All Progressives Congress (APC), who left the party, as the
weakest of people whose selfish agenda did not align with the
selfless vision of his administration.
According to him, with the exit of such selfish persons, APC is now
made up of strong and patriotic Nigerians, whom he said were
willing to toe the path of building a secure, self-sufficient and
“We now have a party of strong and patriotic individuals who are
ready, willing and able to continue on this journey of building a
strong, secure, self-sufficient, corrupt-free Nigeria,” he said.
The group had last Thursday bought the N45 million forms for the
president, who is the sole presidential aspirant on the platform of
Speaking in the banquet hall venue of the presentation, Deputy
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the group, Mr. Chukwuemeka
Nwanjuba, described the group as a network of young persons,
drawn from various fields of endeavour.
According to him, members of the group, whom he said were
drawn from every ward of the existing 120,000 polling units across
the country, made the contributions from the least of N68.00 and
upward to enable them raise the money.
Further stating that members come from every geo-political zone
of the country, Nwanjuba, who said the president had been given
triple A rating, added that they took the decision because of
outstanding leadership principles exhibited by Buhari, including
what he described as his record performance in areas of security,
economy, infrastructure delivery and financial prudence.
He said the young citizens who made up the group had opted to
purchase the form for the president to encourage him to continue
in his service to the country and also consolidate on what he had
done so far.
He said, “These ambassadors whose network seeks to consolidate
these gains and engrain this focus, then decided to contribute their
intellect and little earnings towards ensuring that our president is
encouraged to continue this service, being as it is now apparent
the real beneficiaries of all the toil and tenacity of purpose that
now radiates this leader.
“In spite of the hue and cry from a vociferous few whose
stranglehold on our commonwealth has become somewhat
dislodged, 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 re-election for another term to help consolidate the work he is
Nwanjuba said contrary to an agitation that purchasing the form
for the president was a clear violation of Section 91(9) of the
Electoral Act; no law was broken after all, arguing that if any law
had been broken, the president would not have accepted the form.
APC Adopts Buhari as Presidential Candidate
Meanwhile, the National Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Maimala Buni,
yesterday in Abuja, said the party had adopted Buhari as its
candidate for 2019 presidential election.
Answering questions from journalists at the State House, Buni,
however, said any other member interested in the presidential race
was free to pick the nomination form.
He emphasised that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the
party had already endorsed the candidature of the president.
According to him, “Once the National Executive Committee of the
party passes a vote of confidence on the president, that president
stands accepted because the NEC is the highest organ of the party
and it met to take the decision, where every interest was
“So the NEC of APC has passed a vote of confidence on our
president and that means every APC member has endorsed him.”
He also said the decision was not new, pointing out that it was the
same standard that was obtainable in advanced democracies.
“In advanced democracies, once the NEC of a party passes vote of
confidence on the president, nobody contests against the
president. The president has been accepted,” he explained.
Buni also said the president would be given the right of first
refusal, adding that having accepted the nomination form, it means
that he is the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s election.
As at close of collection of nomination forms yesterday, Buhari
was the only aspirants that had the forms. The submission of the
forms closes today.
Another Group Donates N56.8m to Buhari’s Campaign
In a related development, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria
yesterday presented a cheque of N56.8million to the National
Chairman of the APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, as part of their
contributions for the re-election bid of Buhari.
The group’s donation came just as Oshiomhole, who reacted to
comments by the PDP and its presidential aspirants, said they were
jittery ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The rice farmers, who were led on the visit to APC national
secretariat by the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, and its
National President, Aminu Goronyo, said their contribution was in
appreciation for the over N100 billion loan facilities the President
Buhari-led administration had given to the farmers.
Oshiomhole said Buhari had already won the presidential election
with the support of 12.2million rice farmers across the country,
who are registered voters.
In a statement yesterday by the Oshiomhole’s Chief Press
Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, said Bagudu commended the efforts
made so far by the Buhari administration to encourage rice
farming in Nigeria, adding that “the efforts had yielded fruit as the
cost of a bag of rice today is N13,000.”
He also said that most of the farmers are today millionaires.
Speaking against the background of criticism by the PDP over the
donation of N45 million by a group to purchase expression of
interest and nomination forms for the president, Oshiomhole,
mocked the PDP, saying they were jealous of the support being
enjoyed by President Buhari across the country.
He said: “our opponents who are jittery, when some faceless
people contributed money for one of the aspirants of PDP. He
looked at them and said I have enough to buy all of you, he cried a
little bit just for the effect.
“Not a word was spoken in the media about the morality or the
legality or illegality of it. I thought the media will ask what is the
morality of those who have nothing giving to the rich. Not nothing.
“When our own president who does not have, some people deiced
to raise money to buy his form, suddenly it became an issue that
why should people buy nomination forms for aspirants.
Oshiomhole spoke of how the party arrived at the cost of
nomination form, saying it had to explain to the president that the
cost of conducting transparent primaries across the country will be
very high and hard to meet.
“I told him that Sir, you have many admirers who will contribute the
money,” Oshiomhole said.
He said in the case of President Buhari will need even more money
to prosecute his election because of the party’s decision to hold
“But I am glad it is the confidence Nigerians have on the
leadership of our President that different groups contributing
money for his campaign,” he said.
While tackling the PDP, Oshiomhole accused the party of being
involved in many scandals among which was the allegation that its
administration once gave Nigerians poisonous rice.
“One of the scandal that we have had to deal with when I was
governor, was when I had the honour to preside over a meeting of
the governors and the former Customs Controller General was
lamenting to us how people they granted waiver to import rice
exceeded the quota they were given and imported more rice into
the country and he claimed that they defrauded the federal
government about N22billion in waivers and in excess of what they
“My quarrel with the PDP government, why today I celebrate the
defeat of the PDP and I don’t hide it, those criminal act of
poisonous rice being imported into Nigeria was done not through
the back door.
“We saw PDP ministers lamenting that the rice in our markets were
expired products and I asked, who elected them to lament? They
allowed this expired rice into the country, they proceed to grant
them waivers, they exceed the waivers they are given.
President Muhammadu Buhari defied several