The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot get an automatic ticket for the 2019 election.
He said that the party would follow the normal democratic process in choosing its flagbearer in the 2019 Presidential Election, adding that the leadership of the party had not endorsed President Buhari as its sole candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.
Mr. Tinubu spoke with journalists on Wednesday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after a meeting with the leadership of Afenifere at the Akure home of its leader, Reuben Fasoranti.
His statement is coming on the heels of a recent endorsement by state governors of the party for the president to run in 2019.
Tinubu, who was at the meeting with the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi and the Acting Chairman of the APC in the state, Mr. Ade Ademehin, said Buhari was a man who believed in normal democratic process and the rule of law.
According to him, “No governors can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves. Buhari is a believer in the process. The Buhari, I know, believes in the rule of law. We wanted him even before the last convention and primary of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me, he was not the governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.
“We followed all the constitutional provision and an individual or group’s opinion does not really matter at this stage, Buhari will want a normal process. Buhari that, I know, who says he will lose at any convention? But if the national body, the NEC (National Executive Committee) and all of us as members endorsed him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, we will not be violating our party constitution.
“What you are hearing is just a campaign by other people who might like to do so. Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not infringed on anybody’s ambition if there is. We can not be sycophantic about it.”