Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The move by some of the leaders of the Patriotic Forum of Presidential Candidates (PFPC), an alliance of 40 presidential candidates, to adopt President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019 elections, has collapsed.
THISDAY checks revealed that the decision by some of the leaders of the forum to align with Buhari ahead of the February 16, 2019 presidential election was against the spirit of the forum.
A member of the forum, who spoke with THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, said the Chairman of the PFPC and National Chairman of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), Alhaji Shittu Kabiru Mohammed, met with APC and presidency officials on the plan to adopt Buhari.
Speaking during the meeting of a new alliance, the presidential candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Dr. Onwubuya Breakforth said that the older forum collapsed due to the plan adoption of President Buhari, contrary to the spirit of the forum.
Breakforth, who is the Chairman of the new alliance, said he would rather be on the part of patriotism and national interest than individual interests.
He said the forum was formed with “about 30 presidential candidates. We are looking at how we can have free and fair 2019 general election; engagement with INEC to ensure that INEC remains an unbiased umpire as it ought to be.
“We are looking at how various security agencies will not take side and remain neutral during the election. We are looking at how we can engage the UN, AU, EU, US and other embassies in Nigeria to beam their satellite to ensure that we have free, credible and violent free election in 2019.
“At the end of the day, we want to be able to tell Nigerians that we are the third force. As individual candidates, we may not be able to favourably compete with the APC or PDP. But when we come together as a strong force, we can be able to compete against the seemingly dominant parties and bigger brothers and salvage Nigeria.
“One of us derailed in choosing his alliance contrary to the spirit of the forum. We disagreed with the forum because it had been corrupted. As far as we concerned the other forum is no longer in existence as 90 percent of members of the other forum are here with us.”
Also, the presidential candidate of the National Action Council (NAC), Mrs. Rabia Rakad Cengiz, said the forum would soon come out with details of its meeting and its resolutions.
When contacted, Alhaji Kabiru Mohammed said the proponents of the new forum were free “to make their choice in the spirit of democracy. For me, it is better to look at the interest of the country first and do things that would make the country better and stronger.”
Responding to his alleged adoption of Buhari, Mohammed said it would be better to be patriotic rather than forming another ‘third force’.