President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to members of the All Progressives Congress not to be complacent but to prepare, strategise and win 2019 elections, to prevent the Peoples Democratic Party from taking Nigeria backwards.
He made the appeal at the APC national Secretariat Wednesday in Abuja while submitting his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms to contest the presidency in 2019.
Although, Buhari did not mention PDP in his short speech, the reference was unmistakable as he referred to those who ruled Nigeria between 1999 and 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forms were purchased for the president by the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors’ Network on September 6 at the cost of 45 million.
Buhari had in April declared his intention to seek re-election at the APC National Executive Committee.
President Buhari while submitting the forms, said: “I am here in person among friends and colleagues to put my name forward to my party, the APC, seeking nomination to contest the presidential election in 2019”.
He added: “I am taking this step with all humility, sense of responsibility and unquestionable desire to serve and protect the interest of all Nigerians.
“Let me today, appeal to party members not to be complacent but to pre, strategize and win 2019 elections.
“We must not allow those who brought the country to it’s kneels from 1999 to 2015 to come and take us back.”
National Co-coordinator Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors’ Network, Sunnsi Musa, said the group paid for the forms because the President is not a multi-millionaire cash wise.
Musa said: “But he has millions of supporters who are always ready to come together to pay for his nomination form.”
He said the group embarked on the project based on the recognition that the President has started laying a foundation for a better Nigeria and deserves a second term in office.
He expressed gratitude to those who contributed towards the purchase of the forms.
He assured them and Nigerians generally that if nominated, and re-elected in 2019, he would continue to serve the people to the best of his abilities.
Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, used the opportunity to present to President Buhari his new party membership card.
He also told the president that the APC under his leadership took advantage of modern technology to come up with a new membership data base, saying that the party currently has 15.6 million registered members.
Oshiomhole said: “Today to talk about the size of our party, the largest party in the world and in Africa, we need to have evidence that can be verified by a third party or by members.
“We have taken advantage of technology to produce what I believed is the best or the first in Nigeria.
“We now have as at last week when they started printing of membership register, about 15.6 million registered APC members across the country.”
The APC national chairman added that the party membership data base was designed to ensure that the membership status of anyone could easily be verified at the touch of a bottom.
Oshiomhole further added that with the development, the party had credible and verifiable persons to conduct direct primaries on the basis of its membership register.
However, he said the party would not in any way nullify or change the decisions of its National Executive Committee at its sixth meeting, which allowed for indirect primaries, for logistics reasons.
He said the APC will strive to give practical expression to its decision as transparently as possible.
This, he added, would ensure that the APC would not only be the largest, but the smartest, most democratic and most cohesive party in the country.