15th October, 2014
Former Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) on Wednesday declared his intention to contest for the Nigerian presidency in 2015 general elections on the platform of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
The declaration held at the Eagles Square, Abuja, amidst tight security was also being witnessed by members and chieftains of the party across the country.
Some APC chieftains who are already at the venues as at the time of filing in this story include Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Ali Ndume and other members of the party in the National Assembly.
Security was beefed up around Eagle Square ahead of the declaration which was about to begin at press time.
P.M.NEWS observed that anti-riot police officers, soldiers and officials of other security agencies were deployed to the around the venue and entrances to Presidential Villa, the National Assembly as well as the National Secretariat, which abutts the Eagles Square. The security men have however so far been civil in spite of the large crowd streaming into the square to witness the declaration.
The former Head of State is expected use the occasion to justify why he should be chosen as the APC presidential candidate as well as his programmes and policies for the nation.
Buhari, popularly known as Mai Gaskiya (the one that tells the truth) enjoys massive following among the common folks, especially in the Northern part of the country. He is making his fourth attempt to rule the country with today’s declaration.
Apart from being a former head of state, Buhari has also served the country as Minister of Petroleum, and member of the Supreme Military Council, Governor of North-Eastern State, and chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund among others.
The former Head of State is generally regarded as honest and disciplined.
However, his popularity has failed to translate into victory for him in three attempts to become Nigeria’s President since 2003.
In 2003, the retired General as the presidential candidate of the defunct ANPP squared up against President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP.
But he lost the election, scoring 32.17 per cent of the votes cast to 61.94 per cent garnered by Obasanjo.
In 2007, Buhari again ran on the platform of ANPP, this time against the late President Yar’Adua of PDP. But he also lost with only 18.72 per cent of the electorate voting for him, compared to 69.82 per cent for Yar’Adua.
Against President Jonathan in 2011, he contested on the platform the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, a party he founded with his associates when they left the ANPP with an outcome that was not different from his previous efforts.
While the PDP got about 59 per cent of the total votes cast, Buhari polled about 31 per cent.
The battle for the APC presidential ticket will be between him and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Sam Ndah-Isiah, the publisher of Leadership Newspapers and Governor Rochas Okorocha who have also indicated interest in contesting for the presidency under the APC platform on 14 February, 2015.