The Congress for Progressive Change has said it wants its National Leader, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to contest in 2015.
The party, which explained its merger talks with some opposition parties, said it wanted Buhari to contest because of the passion he has for the country.
But the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, said opposition parties’ merger would not defeat Peoples Democratic Party in 2015.
Gulak and the CPC spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, spoke during an African Independent Television programme on Tuesday.
Saturday PUNCH had on January 26 reported that there were moves in the merger plan to ask Buhari and the Action Congress of Nigeria leader, Bola Tinubu, to make personal sacrifices.
Such sacrifices, it was reported might see the duo dumping their presidential ambitions.
But Fashakin said there was nothing wrong if Buhari changed his mind to contest the 2015 presidential election.
He said, “There is peace in South-Africa because of the foundation laid by the man (Nelson Mandela), who stood for democracy in that country.
“He came and ruled for one term and handed over to people of sound character.
“Also, in Ghana, the country is better now because of what Jerry Rawlings did and that is why Ghana is what it is today.
“Nigeria and Nigerians need Buhari to do the same thing for things to move on. We cannot continue like this.”
He noted that an earlier pronouncement by the retired general that he would not contest was done at a personal level.
Fashaki said, “If after the emergence of the new political party as a result of the merger the Nigerian people say they want him, he will consider it.
“He has said it that whenever we get to that bridge and they want him to cross it, he will consider it.”
But Gulak said it would be difficult for Buhari to become President.
He said that apart from not being a politician, the former head of state was not a mobliser. He added that there was no way politicians, who Buhari overthrew in 1983 would embrace him.
He said the PDP was the most organised political party in the country, adding that existence of regional parties did not augur well for the polity.
Gulak added, “The PDP sitting up is what I see happening. That PDP will lose power to the opposition is an illusion as far as I am concerned.”
He said merger could only succeed if politicians were ready to build “political bridges.”
Gulak stated, “The CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) is a regional party. The ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) is a regional party. If they can come together, to form a formidable political party with a clear manifesto to Nigerians; it will make the PDP to be more prepared and be more organised. We need such mergers, if it going to be possible.”
Meanwhile, the intrigues in the power play within the national leadership of the PDP took another turn as all the deputy national officers of the party on Tuesday in Abuja, passed a vote of confidence in their National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.
Addressing reporters after a meeting, the leader of the group, Senator Umar Tsauri, said they met to felicitate with Tukur on the New Year and at the same time deliberate on issues affecting the party.
Tsauri, who is the PDP Deputy National Auditor, described as “very fruitful” their deliberations with Tukur and stressed that their discussions was for the benefit of the party.
He stressed that they were in support of Tukur’s leadership and they had no problem in passing a vote of confidence in him.
“Today we told the National Chairman of the party of his leadership capabilities and the way he manages crisis and we are confidence in his style of leadership.
“Our meeting with him was fruitful and we discuss the development of the party. We pass a vote of confidence on him.”