President Buhari revealed his intention to run again at the closed-door meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
He said he wanted to seek re-election in response to the clamour by Nigerians for him to do so.
He also told the party’s NEC that he wanted to give them the honour to notify them first, of his second term ambition.
The president had previously declined to say whether or not he would run for re-election. His response or that of his aides had always been that to do so would disrupt the polity.
Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, last month told State House correspondents that it was too early for Buhari to declare his intention for the 2019 presidential poll.
Adesina had, at that time, said that any declaration by the president one year to the elections, would give the opposition one year to sabotage Nigeria politically, socially and economically.
Buhari announced his second term bid in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, APC Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Working Committee of the party as well as governors and state chairmen of the party.
But credible sources within the APC said the declaration by Buhari would not foreclose the chances of those with presidential ambition within the family to test their popularity.
One of the sources said this would however “seal the lips of sceptics and naysayers who would cash on Buhari’s absence in the coming days as he embarked on a trip to London to cause confusion in the APC and the polity.”
According to him, “We know there are jokers within our fold; we know there are some that would be supported to cause confusion by contesting but we are not bothered. Buhari would definitely defeat any other fellow to pick the APC presidential ticket,” he said.
Another source said, “Definitely there would be presidential primary but we expect that those that mean well for Nigeria, the serious contenders would not overstretch their energy. Anyone with future presidential ambition will not contest against Buhari because the poor would mark him down.
“The serious contenders would not contest against the president; so we expect that the primary in line with the party’s constitution would be an easy task for us to return Buhari as president; just like what transpired in 2014,” he said.
Speaking on whether yesterday’s NEC meeting had laid to rest agitations and threats by some people to leave the party, the source said, “We really came out stronger. It is a win-win situation because the president had succeeded in achieving two things. Number one, he has allowed everyone in the last three weeks, especially those who felt used and dumped to ventilate their anger and secondly, he allowed everyone to display his political sagacity but ultimately it was the party that won.
“Now that he said we should go for election, it means everyone would test his popularity and the most popular ones would have the day as party leaders; nobody would accuse Buhari of taking sides. Of course we know there are some that would leave the party; they are on their own because right from the onset, they never allowed their soul to be in the party and we are not bothered about them. APC is very strong and it will cruise to victory at all levels. Ultimately Buhari has won the conscience of all well -meaning democrats.”