President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he decided to announce his desire to seek re-election early enough in April in order to cool tempers.
Buhari said this while receiving members of the Buhari Support Group Centre at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He thanked members of the group for consistently standing by him over the years “without getting anything.”
He said, “I had to announce before the National Executive Committee about my intention to ask for the party’s nomination for next year’s election, so that we can save a lot of time and cool tempers.
“A lot of people are trying to make it a habit of being a nuisance to themselves and to Nigerians.
“So, when I announced my intention, ‘I said okay, let those who are serious come out;’ and I try to make sure that the party is re-organised and consolidated.
“This is so that we start from bottom to top, so that Nigerians will be involved and that each constituency will pick those they want to represent them at various levels, whether local government chairmen, counselors, state houses of assemblies, House of Representatives, Senate and finally, the Presidency.
“With this participation, some of the people who are educated and sophisticated, they say for those who have got the money, bring the money but we will still do what we want to do.”
Buhari said having contested presidential election for a record of four times before winning, he was familiar with happenings in different constituencies.
He reiterated that his failure in the previous three attempts was a result of people sitting down somewhere and writing election results and asking those aggrieved to go to court.
He wondered how a politician who is still looking for the next meal will he get money to pay lawyers.
Lauding the introduction of technology which he said assisted in his victory at the last election, call on the group to encourage Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voters Cards.
The President added, “Thank God that technology has come in. With PVCs, with Card Reader, wherever you register it will show whether you voted or not. That is why voters education is very important.
“Tell people that the PVC is their nationality and they are entitled to it. They can use across party, religion, ethnicity.
“So, let them take pride in their PVC, let them keep it and use it. This is an additional assignment for your group.
“I have been talking to the governors, urging them to carry out voters education. It may not favour them, but people will eventually understand whether they tell the truth or not, people will do what they feel right.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the BSGC, Umaru Dembo, said members of the group view Buhari as a leader who has sacrificed his entire life for the well being of the common man in Nigeria.
Dembo said they were in the Presidential Villa to assure the President that they have been working hard to explain the new life that his government has ushered in for the good of Nigerians.
“All of us and various groups attached to us will convey in various forms the successes of your government in the last three years.
“Boko Haram has been disbanded, Single Treasury Account implemented, farming to feed the nation in progress, petrol available, second Niger bridge in progress, roads, railways, Ajaokuta reclaimed, Mambilla hydroelectric power and dam being built, dredging the Niger, new prisons and so many other developmental programmes and activities changing the face of Nigeria,” he said.
He assured Buhari of their commitment to his re-election in 2019.