President Muhammadu Buhari is still better his predecessors, former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has said.
Mr Oshiomhole stated this when he officially made his aspiration to become the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), known in Abuja on Thursday.
He is expected to be the main challenger to the incumbent chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, if the latter decides to seek re-election.
Both men are from Edo State and are former governors of the state.
A meeting by APC state chairpersons and leaders in the South-south ended in acrimony due to the ambition of both men.
Mr Oshiomhole, however, enjoys the support of President Muhammadu Buhari. He is also believed to enjoy the support of a leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu; thus putting him in good stead to emerge the national chairman.
The former labour leader opined that President Buhari is not a ‘thief’ and this alone makes him much better than his predecessors.
“I want to assure Nigerians that I believe with a new leadership of the APC and with our president, whom I believe is ever determined, no matter what anybody wants to say, there will be time to engage in all of those contestations as we approach 2019 electioneering campaign and those who wish to contest on various party platforms come to the open, we will know the players, we will know their coach, we will be able to engage.
“Until then, so that I don’t change headlines, there is only one thing I want to say here and now, that the worst critic of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will agree that the president is not a thief. President Buhari is not a thief. That, for me, is the starting point and we will challenge others,” said Oshiomhole.
Earlier, he said the reason for his intention is to reposition, re-organise and make the All Progressives Congress (APC) a “digital party.”
“I believe that with the zeal to work with the executive and legislative arms of government, we will engender renewed public confidence and support for our party and government at all levels,” he said.
Oshiomhole assured that the principle of separation of powers will be upheld under his watch as chairman but warned that he will not be a toy, at the disposal of anybody, and stressed that there will no longer be graveyard silence on issues concerning the party.
“As I present myself for the position of the national chairman of our great party, it is pertinent to reflect on what constitutes the APC. The APC is a progressive party which represents the collective will of all the members of the party in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“It is my hope that if, and when elected as national chairman of the party, we will reposition and re-organise the party based on its philosophy of social democracy, which basically means people-oriented, membership driven and mass-based political organisation. To be able to translate these into concrete action that is visible and verifiable.
“Under our leadership, we will naturally have to do a couple of things differently, in the day to day management of the party, while interfacing with all those elected on the platform of the party at all levels.”