ALTHOUGH the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has deferred an “informal motion” to endorse an automatic second term ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari, it is only a question of time and the deed will be done.
Reason: Virtually, all the 24 governors elected on the party’s platform, according to sources, are committed to ensuring that President Buhari runs the 2019 election unchallenged, unless he is not interested. Vanguard also gathered that by getting an automatic ticket for Buhari, those of them serving their first term will argue for and expectedly get automatic return tickets. Currently, the APC has 24 governors out of which only seven are in their second terms while 17 of them are first timers.
APC governors doing second term are Ibrahm Geidam (Yobe), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Umaru Al-makura (Nasarawa), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Kashim Shettima (Borno).
The first timers are Jibrilla Jindow (Adamawa), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Umar Ganduje (Kano), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Abdulazeez Abubakar (Zamfara).
So far, APC governors, who have publicly endorsed Buhari for second term include Governor Okorocha of Imo State, who contested against Buhari at the party’s primaries in 2015, but this time said he would not run against the president; Governors Lalong of Plateau, Bello of Kogi, Al-Makura of Nasarawa and Bagudu of Kebbi. Will Buhari seek re-election?
Will Buhari seek re-election?
President Buhari made history in 2015 by being the first person to beat an incumbent president in an election. If he elects not to re-contest, he will be the first president to opt for a single term in the world’s largest black nation. All his predecessors – Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan all sought for re-election.
However, there was no “automatic ticket” for the trio. Although “favoured” to be standard bearers they all contested the presidential primaries of their parties before they were handed the re-election flags. Alhaji Shehu Shagari got the National Party of Nigeria, NPN ticket in 1983 after the primaries, so also Obasanjo in 2003 and Jonathan in 2015.
Will Buhari seek another mandate? Only time will tell but indicators on ground show that he is likely to seek re-election. Even if he did not want to, pressures will be piled on him to do so. Already, his foot soldiers are busy fanning out to all parts of the country. Groups rooting for him or endorsing him have started emerging.
Going forward, Vanguard gathered that measures and policies targeted at getting all sections of the country, especially the aggrieved areas, will be implemented. Such measures will include execution of projects and appointments, especially into boards of parastatals.
Chances of Buhari, APC at the polls Leaders of the APC are upbeat about the chances of the party the 2019 polls, even though the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, claims that it will beat APC, especially President Buhari, at the elections because “the APC and Buhari have failed.”
APC’ll be in power for over 20 years — Senator Ibrahim
Speaking on the issue, former Governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, said that the APC will not only win the 2019 election but also will continue to dominate the political landscape of the country in the next 20 years just as the Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF, and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said so far the APC had performed creditably.
Ibrahim’s statement is reminiscent of the comments of former Chairman of the PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, who boasted in December 2014 that the PDP would rule Nigeria for 60 years but a few months later, the party lost the presidency to the APC. The two spoke after the APC Caucus meeting presided over by President Buhari at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, which held under closed-door, on Monday night. Yari said the ruling party is on course and has disappointed some of detractors, who had harboured the belief that the party would be torn into shreds during its caucus
It was the first caucus meeting of the APC since coming to power. Senator Ibrahim said that those who had expected that the National Chairman of the party Chief John Odigie-Oyegun would be kicked out were disappointed. “Some people thought that we had planned to kick out our national chairman and that we will be having problems, but none of these things happened. It is a big party re-union and we are all happy.
“This party is going to conquer Nigeria political space for a very long time to come. I don’t want to predict any number of years, but anything above 20, there is no need to have any fear at all,” he said. To Governor Yari, the outcome of the caucus meeting ‘’shows our unity in the party, it shows our strength and shows our commitment to the party and to Nigerians. Some other people are now waiting to hear a bombshell that we will have some sort of crisis because it has taken time without having this kind of meeting.’’ He said that the peaceful atmosphere was the evidence that the party was ready to serve Nigerians. “So our meeting today and what is going to happen tomorrow shows that we are ready to serve the country.”