As members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political gladiators intensified negotiation on who leads Nigeria after May 29th, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that he was not interested in whoever succeeds him as the next leader of the country.
Buhari said that his major concern was to finish as he had planned and leave the country better than where he met it six and half years ago when he was sworn in as president of Nigeria.
The president, who disclosed his stance on Wednesday during an interview with newsmen in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, said that any public officeholder that pays keen interest in whoever succeeded him must have engaged in activities that were against the rules guiding the office he occupied.
Buhari noted that since he had over the years maintained transparency and accountability with public funds, he was not afraid of what could happen whenever he leaves office particularly on May 29th, 2023.
He further disclosed that even within his party, none of the candidates showing interest to become APC’s flagbearer could categorically state that he has declared his support for them.
Buhari stressed that embracing one aspirant above the other could further cause a crisis within the party which he does not wish that it happen considering his status within the ruling APC.
“The 2023 presidential election is none of my problems. I am not interested in who succeeded me as the president of Nigeria. I believe that whoever wins the poll should be sworn in as the next leader of Nigeria.
“All important things (under my administration) have been documented. No one should ask me to appear before the court to give evidence on any issue (public funds) and whoever does that will be in trouble. All important things are already on record. I am sure about that”.
He, meanwhile, explained reasons for declining to sign, saying the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would be signed after the National Assembly makes the necessary adjustments.
According to him, the changes must include the addition of consensus candidates, indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election, as against the initial direct mode as the only option to conduct primaries by political parties.
“All I said (is that) there should be options. We must not insist that it has to be direct; it should be consensus and indirect. There should be options, you can’t dictate to people and say you are doing democracy. Give them other options so they can make a choice.”
Stressing the importance of allowing people to choose from available options, he relived the events that led to his election into the office and ended the 16 years rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“Personally, I do not support direct primary because I want people to be given a choice,” the President stated. “You can’t give them one option and think that you are being democratic. Let them have three options – there is the consensus.
“PDP was so overconfident that they thought they would rule Nigeria till the end of time, but the opposition (parties) came together, and we overthrew them. Not as a result of direct primary, it is as a result of opposition parties coming together and fighting the PDP.
“It is because we agreed to come together. The fact that we came together gave us the success we had, and that was the mistake they made; that is why they lost.”