Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the next year election would emerge through the presidential primaries dismissing those canvassing other means as enemies of internal democracy.
Atiku made this known while addressing journalists in his Abuja residence on the State of the Nation and his plans to formally declare for 2015 presidency.
He argued that those opposed to primary election were scared of the outcome, but reminded them that the APC would always use primaries to decide its flag bearer in every election.
?Those who are canvassing for automatic ticket are scared of a contest. Why should they be canvassing for automatic ticket in democratic process? I think they are just scared and afraid of the contest. There is nothing like automatic ticket, they must have been coming from a background that is not so democratic in nature. It is not like the PDP where there is a thing like allocation.
?The electorate will determine who wins the ticket through the primaries and everybody is optimistic about his chances but eventually it is the electorate that will determine who wins it,? he said.
Reacting to a remark made that some people within the party are seeing him as a stranger who wants to hijack the highest position; he said he was a founding member of APC.
?Anyone holding the view that I was a new entrant is wrong. In the first place I was the founding member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in fact I gave it its name before I later left for the PDP.
Turakin Adamawa however disclosed that if eventually he lost in his bid to pick the APC presidential ticket, he would still remain in the party and support the winner and the party to win the election.
When asked if he was not frustrated enough in his quest to become Nigeria?s president after past unsuccessful attempts, he said: ?How can I be discouraged? You are just asking me to give up on Nigeria but I will not, I don?t have any other place to go. So why should I give up on Nigeria? That is what you are asking me to do and I will not until I can no longer have the capacity or the strength to go on.?
Speaking further, Atiku said: ?The reason why PDP has been dominating is that the opposition has been fragmented. I think now they are trying to come together, you can see basically, we are moving towards a two-party system and then Nigerians in the opposition will now see that there is an alternative to run. Nigerians are sophisticated and now have seen that there is an alternative to PDP and that they can now decide to vote for that alternative.?
On the possibility of the INEC conducting a credible poll, he said: ?As far as INEC is concerned it depends on the political parties, they should assist the INEC and the Police and work with them very closely. If the political parties, together with the electorate and NGOs are able to police INEC, the commission will have no alternative than conduct a free and fair election.?
Atiku did not hide his disappointment in the seemingly endless war against the terrorism in the some three states, including Adamawa, his home state.
He recalled how the Obasanjo administration crushed such a terror group within six weeks and wondered why the menace remains unresolved after four or five years.
?I am absolutely upset and angry with this insecurity situation. I don?t believe that as a country, we have done enough to secure this country. These bunch of insurgence has been operating for nearly four or five years now. Knowing Nigeria, we pride ourselves as having the beys armed forces in this continent. I really don?t know where thing went wrong. Is it the armed forces or the political leaders? I just can?t believe what is happening. I am not in a position to explain it because I am not in government. But I don?t believe that this is a situation that Nigeria would not have dealt a very fatal blow within three to six months.
?I remember that when we were in office, such a group wanted to emerge in Yobe state and we smashed that group completely within a couple of weeks. That such a group should be allowed to operate for four or five years in this country and even saying they have occupied part of the country, hosting flag and nobody is doing anything is unbelievable. Please help me ask them what is wrong because I am very upset and angry about this development. When I went to visit the son of Former President Obasanjo, I said I wish I were a young man, I would have gone to the war front to fight. It is unbelievable what is happening.?
He threatened to kick against any move to stop elections in the Northeast. According to him,?If elections were held in places like Afghanistan where there are more deadly terrorists,? nothing should stop elections in those states.?


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