Before and during the All Progressives Congress presidential primary that saw the emergency of Ex-Governor Bola Tinubu as the party’s flag bearer, Buhari refused to act as an “elected autocrat”.
Mr. Buhari refused to openly endorse a presidential aspirant though he tried to cajole APC governors into accepting his request for “reciprocity” to name his own successor.
The northern governors particularly did not oblige him.
However, Mr. Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu, reacting to mixed comments on the election in a statement on Tuesday, said the president refused to impose a consensus candidate or act as an elected autocrat.
According to him, by this, people’s faith and that of the international community in the nation’s democracy received a boost.
“Luckily for Nigeria, President Buhari does not suffer from such constraints. He refuses to act as the elected autocrat. The president had a clear purpose leading up to the primary: to ensure a transparent, free and fair process that will bring back people’s faith in democracy by taking good governance up to the grassroots level,” the statement claimed.
It added, “By this alone, people’s faith and that of the international community in our democracy has received a major boost since the completion of the APC nomination.”
The statement further noted that Mr Buhari would give the APC presidential candidate “unwavering support,” and dismissed the speculative media reports arising from the conduct of the primary.
“When it is election season we all expect speculation to reach fever-pitch. The press pores over every word spoken, scours every photo taken, and reports every indication suggested, seeking signs of who is supporting who like private investigators – or fiction writers,” stated Mr Shehu. “There’s no greater intrigue for this kind of speculation-journalism than a party flagbearer primary. But it only comes around once every four years – or every eight following President Buhari’s second term. Therefore, the media must make the most of it.”
He added, “So, what a disappointment the All Progressives Congress (APC) party flagbearer primary must have been for those who assembled to witness a catastrophe? No intrigue, no division, no disagreement, no defeated candidates rejecting the result, no splits, no third-party runs. Only determination to rally around the chosen flagbearer to deliver victory and an APC third term in February 2023.”
Mr Tinubu emerged winner of the election conducted between June 8 and 9.
He polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rivals, former transport minister Rotimi Amaechi who scored 316 votes and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who garnered 235 votes.