Former Governor of Abia State and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has advised the party not to shut the door against any candidate interested in contesting the 2019 presidential primaries against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kalu said, although Buhari remains the best candidate, but throwing the race open for interested candidates will portray APC as a democratic party.
Kalu spoke in a chat with newsmen at the private wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
He said, “Buhari 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 at the Eagle Square.
“The contest should be thrown open. There would be no rancour. We are in democracy and I would vote for the President. I’ve said it times without number, that the President needs to consolidate on his achievements because most parts of his tenure have been besieged by illness. So the President genuinely deserves second tenure.
“We are not afraid of anybody who wants to contest against the President because the President is very popular. He is still the only person carrying 12 million votes in his back. Even in the South East where he didn’t do well, I’m just coming from the South East. President Buhari is making a lot of inroads.
“The role he played during Anambra election, other Presidents would have written the results. They have done it before. But the President said, ‘no every ballot paper must be counted’ and they were counted. If it is other President, APC would be jubilating home with victory. But President said, ‘no, I would not tolerate that’.
On resignation of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar from the APC, Kalu said he would have advised Atiku, to “remain and join hands with other stakeholders to build the party together”.
The business mogul, however, said he wished Atiku well in his next move.