The All Progressives Congress (APC) has made it clear that there will be no automatic ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari if he eventually seeks re-election in 2019, adding that due process must be followed.
The declaration is coming in separate media interviews in Abuja, on Thursday, by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, The Punch reports.
The declaration comes on the back of a controversy that was generated after some party stalwarts had sought for an automatic ticket for the president in 2019.
In his reaction, Abdullahi disclosed that the party’s constitution did not have provisions for such, adding that as a law-abiding party, the APC would abide by its own rules as enshrined in its constitution when dealing with the issue of nominations.
His words: “What I can assure you is that the APC will abide by the APC Constitution on such matters and our constitution does not provide for automatic ticket, our constitution does not provide for the right for first refusal. So, our party will abide by the constitution.”
“We have looked at what our President has done and as a party we are happy with his achievements; if he comes up today to say he wants to contest, we will support him but to begin to throw things like automatic ticket, right of first refusal, they don’t exist in our constitution.”
On his part, Okorocha, yesterday, while speaking in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said there would be no automatic ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election on the platform of the APC.
Okorocha, who is also the governor of Imo State, said all candidates on the party’s platform must emerge through transparent democratic process.
He said: “The gentleman (the President) is looking much more handsome than even before he went to hospital; he is looking stronger and so, he has every right and qualification to re-contest, there is nothing wrong at all.
“But, we don’t allow imposition of candidate. It must be democratically done.
“If President Buhari will lead the ship in 2019, it must be democratically done, and I said, democratically done, transparently (done) to the amazement of the whole world, the way we do our things in APC and people will be happy.”