The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Tuesday that the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms presented to President Muhammadu Buhari were purchased by a large number of people who made contributions.
Amaechi, who is also the Director-General, Buhari Campaign Organisation, made this clarification while briefing State House correspondents shortly after the forms were presented to Buhari at the presidential villa.
A group known as Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN) presented Expression of Interest and Nomination forms to Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.
The group said it purchased the forms to encourage the president to seek re-election and continue his developmental strides.
Amaechi said that the gesture showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was ready for the 2019 election.
“This is a group of persons; some people paid less than N1 million; some paid N50,000; it is a group of hundreds of thousands of people that came together to buy form for the president.
“I do not see any law we have broken by that.
“Not one person bought the form for Mr President; not one person brought the money; not two persons; not three; what we saw from their database is hundreds of thousands of persons that raised the money.
“You can the huge delegation that came; it is an indication that we are prepared for the election.
“The president has put the first step forward to show that he wants to run for the second time for the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.
On his part, APC’s National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, said that even in advanced democracies, once the National Executive Committee (NEC) of a party passed a vote of confidence on the president, nobody would contest with him.
According to Buni, NEC is the highest organ of the party to take decisions where every interest is represented.
“So, NEC of APC has passed vote of confidence on Mr President; that means every APC member endorsed Mr President.
“it is a democracy, we are not saying nobody should come out and contest but the president has right of first refusal,’’ he said.
More so, Farouk Aliyu, Chairman, Board of Trustees (NCAN), told State House correspondents in an interview that the forms were purchased with contributions from across the country.
He said the NCAN was excited that Buhari accepted the forms, adding that the group would go back to their localities and work towards the re-election of Buhari in the 2019 presidential polls.
“What motivated the young Nigerians to buy the forms is their belief that whatever the president is doing is for the future of the younger ones,’’ he said
APC had earlier pegged its presidential nomination fee to N55 million but later reduced it to N45 million.