Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu has said President Muhammadu Buhari is not seeking for automatic ticket in 2019, even as he denounced the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the opposition party would not bounce back to reckoning.
According to Kalu, Buhari would not want automatic ticket for 2019 because he would want other interested candidates to explore the democratic process to test their popularity. The former Abia State Governor said PDP would not come back because of alleged massive looting of the nationâ€™s treasury during Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Kalu, who made this known to newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, said President Buhari as a democrat would want every interested candidate to be given a chance to test his popularity and exercise his democratic right.
â€œBuhari himself is not even looking for automatic ticket. Buhari is a man that is very fair and free to what he does. And his feeling is that if any candidate is willing to contest against him, he should come to the Eagle Square.
â€œSome schools of thought are saying â€˜no, if in the United States, Obama was given automatic ticket; President Bush in Republican Party was given automatic ticket; President Clinton was given automatic ticket; the First and Second Bush were given automatic tickets; so President Buhari is also feeling that automatic ticket for him is not right. He said open the space for other people who also want to contest. He wants the openness of the primary to take place,â€ Kalu said.
He also added, â€œThe contest should be thrown open. There would be no rancour. We are in democracy and I would vote for the President. Iâ€™ve said it times without number that the President needs to consolidate on his achievements because most parts of President because the President is very popular. He is still the only person carrying 12 million votes in his back. His tenure has been besieged by illness. So the President genuinely deserves second tenure.
He said APC is not afraid of anybody who wants to contest against the President, insisting that PDP would not bounce.
According to him, the international community was outraged by the massive looting of the nationâ€™s treasury by PDP, adding that it would amount to the greatest disservice to call for the return of PDP.
Kalu also said Buhari was under restraint not to expose the gargantuan corruption that took place at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NPPC) before he took over as President.
â€œHow can they bounce back when treasury was looted? How can they bounce back when the international community doesnâ€™t see anything good in them? How can they bounce back when we gave them our treasury, they opened and looted it?
â€œWe would call names if they want to us to call names in future. All the world powers knew what happened and this is why they tactically insisted that PDP must leave power. PDP committed what was very shameful to have been seen in a democratic process. There is no system that is not with corruption but going to loot is an affront to Nigerian people,â€ Kalu emphasised.