Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Waziri Bulama, has assured that the ruling party will not impose any candidate for the 2023 presidential election against the interest of the majority after President Muhammadu had Buhari served out his second tenure.
Bulama, who is currently the leading aspirant for the vacant position of the APC National Secretary told correspondents on Tuesday in Abuja that the party would sustain its democratic credential in line with President Buhari’s philosophy of one- man-one-vote ahead of the 2023 presidential primaries of the party.
Bulama who served as deputy presidential campaign manager in the 2019 poll, maintained that contrary to the notion held in certain quarters, the President Buhari-led administration has succeeded in promoting free and fair election in the country since 2015.
“Our party is not one were leaders take a decision and impose. So, I believe at the right time, the party will take a decision on this matter. I am not worried really; I am very comfortable and happy with the party. I am happy with what the party is doing in managing Nigeria.
“And I am also happy seeing all our colleagues doing their very best in managing ministries, in managing agencies and departments of this country and delivering on our undertakings to make Nigeria work and work for the greater benefit of Nigerians,” he said.
Bulama also argued that the outcome of the 2019 presidential poll victory by President Buhari speaks volume of the fact that Nigerians appreciate the performance of the APC-led administration since 2015.
According to him, “Nigerians appreciate his leadership style and the programme. That is why he was re-elected with an overwhelming majority with more votes than 2015 and more spread than in 2015.
“For us, the first take away is that we did well having taken Nigeria away from political chaos, economic recession and social breakdown. There was the problem of insecurity that overwhelmed Nigeria in 2014 and 2015, part of Nigeria had been taken over by bandits and Boko Haram.
“The economy was at a standstill; close to 30 states were not paying salaries, even the federal civil service was struggling to pay salaries; pensioners were finding it difficult to get their rights and Nigeria really was considered still a pariah nation by the international community but coming forward we have been able to get our place. We have been able to secure Nigeria; we have been able to recover greater part of the territories controlled by bandits.
“We have been able to rescue the nation rom economic depression; we stabilized the economy and it is now on the path of growth and we have been able to promote peace, brotherhood and harmony because the president doesn’t discriminate in all the things on the basis of party, basis of religion or region.
“In fact, the N2 trillion bailout support was given to all the states in Nigeria wasn’t based on partisan line or zonal distribution line; it was distributed equally to all the states to pay pension, to pay salaries which has been done successfully. Projects from 2015 to 2019 has been evenly distributed.
“The Ministry of Works comes out with all the works to show how all these projects were evenly distributed whereas actually the budget of the country was cash strapped as at 2014/2015 and we succeeded in spending N4.3 trillion in funding capital projects alone.
“There was budget stability and financial stability substantially and that is why we were re-elected. So, this election was a validation of our leadership and performance as a party and the party has come out even stronger; as I said, we are in control of 19 states and just got an additional one making it 20 states, we are in control of the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly leadership is fully in the hands of leaders who are loyal to the APC so as a result of that, we have a National Assembly leadership that is working in harmony with the executive branch.
“So, all these are achievements of the 2019 general elections and coming forward as you can see this big majority and the validation of what we have done has given us more encouragement and there is a greater momentum and swift in the execution of government projects as you can see how the budget was passed in only 70 days.
“You also saw how we succeeded in returning the budget cycle to January to December framework which is what has been desired and aspired for by all Nigerians all along; even from the time the government was sworn-in in May till now the president has approved the release of addition N600 billion for capital projects and as you can see all the ministries are very busy and they are working very hard to execute projects to develop infrastructure and fund projects all over the country.
“So the achievements of this 2019 election are enormous politically too; you see the president insisted and warned all public servants to desist from bringing out public funds to fund the election; I am aware of this, two months before the election he warned all the public servants,” he said.
On his chances of emerging the National Secretary of the APC, he said: “I am a team player and the idea that I should even aspire to the national secretary of the party was a consensus among many stakeholders of the party that I should run.
“In fact, I ran in the last convention in 2018 and I stepped down for Memala and subsequently, I was appointed into the presidential campaign council and after the presidential campaign, we had options to pick other assignments to contribute our quarter to the management of government in our country but most of my colleagues felt that, look we should renew our aspiration to be in the party, to help our leaders, to organise and manage things in the party and administer the party in line with the expectations of members.
“I am very comfortable at the moment with the endorsements I have received. Most of the stakeholder groups are from the forum of state chairmen to Buhari support organisation to presidential support committee to the national coalition of Buhari support group; NCBSG and most governors and ministers have endorsed us.
“So I believe the delay in taking a decision is largely because our party relies on due process and extensive consultation before taking a decision,” he said.