Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi is highly disposed to supporting Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), his political allies have told TheCable.
APC’s flag bearer is expected to come from the north when the primary holds later in the year.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Kano Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso are also thought to be interested in the ticket.
Sources told TheCable that Amaechi is “very disposed” to Buhari’s candidature and will roll out his machinery to back the former military head of state who unsuccessfully ran in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections.
“Amaechi said at a meeting with his political allies recently that even though APC has very good presidential materials, Buhari stands out. Electorally, he can deliver northern votes and get a significant number from the south.
“More importantly, he thinks Buhari is the only candidate who can fight corruption in Nigeria because he has nothing to lose. A lot of people need to be jailed to stop this impunity, and he believes Buhari will not go about setting up committees to achieve simple tasks.
“He did not rule out supporting any other aspirant, but Buhari will be his first choice,” one of his associates told TheCable.
Amaechi’s support is considered “vital” in the party because of his logistics capability.
Fears had been raised by Buhari’s supporters about the adoption of direct primary to pick the APC presidential candidate because of the enormous logistics needed to mobilise party members nationwide.
Under the preferred method, party members will vote in their respective states rather than converge on a venue as it is done with delegates election.
Amaechi’s support will go a long way in helping Buhari who is considered to be short in the finer details of winning a competitive party’s primary.
“He has nothing but absolute respect for Buhari who has proved himself to be honest, courageous and committed to the development of Nigeria. He will do everything necessary to help the general emerge as the candidate of the party,” the source said.
Amaechi was one of the governors who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year after a crisis in the party.
Although he supported President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, their relationship deteriorated, leading to a public spat.
Amaechi’s media aide, David Iyofor, neither confirmed nor denied the story that Amaechi will support Buhari.
“The primary is still far away. It is too early to be talking about commitments. We will cross the bridge when we get there,” he told TheCable.