By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— Ahead of the 2019 general elections and the raging debate as to whether to give an automatic return ticket to President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said it would abide by its rules in the choice of its next presidential candidate.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja shortly after an expanded meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, its state governors and principal officers of the National Assembly.
Asked whether the ticket was open to anyone or restricted to the President only, Abubakar, who was flanked by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, and the party’s spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, said the issue of endorsing the President or otherwise did not come up for discussion.
He said the meeting did not also discuss the reported stance of some South-West leaders of the party to the effect that the ticket was open to anyone.
“This meeting has not deliberated on that but the APC has a constitution and that is one of the items that was discussed; the amendment of the constitution of the APC in order to faithfully hold the constitution of the APC in line with democratic principles, and we will abide by the provisions of our constitution,” he stated.
Backs President’s pro-north directive to World Bank
The party also threw its weight behind the President for asking the World Bank to shift its development focus to the northern part of the country, a revelation that has diverse reactions among Nigerians.
According to the spokesman of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, the President’s statement is not meant to pitch one part of the country against the other.
He said: “The issue came up for discussion at the meeting and they threw their weight behind Mr President. We would like to clarify in addition to all that had been said that the import of Mr President’s message to the World Bank was in recognition of the particular devastation that Boko Haram has caused in that region.
Govs deny indictment on salary payment
Gov. Abubakar also denied reports that the President indicted the governors over their inability to pay salaries, despite receiving a budget support fund as well as a part refund of the Paris Club debt payment.
‘’He did not direct any accusation at the governors because the governors have actually utilised the Federal Government’s intervention for the payment of the salary. We are not begging for support but asking that what is due to us should be paid to us,” he said.