Monday, 9 January 2017

2019 race hots up, as northern politicians scheme to replace Buhari

- Political gladiators in the northern part of
the country are warming up in preparation
for the 2019 election
- Some prominent political actors are
interested in replacing President Buhari
- Their preparations are hinged on the
possibility that President Muhammadu
Buhari may not run for a second term
A report by New Telegraph indicates
that political gladiators in the northern
part of the country are warming up in
preparation for the 2019 election.According to the report, their early
preparations are hinged on the
possibility that President Muhammadu
Buhari may not run for a second term.
Most of the politicians are members of
the All Progressives Congress (APC) and
also serving governors.
Members of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) are also not left out of the
race, hoping that with the dismal
performance of the APC-led federal
government going into two years will
give them an advantage in 2019.
There is the belief in political circles
that with the economic downturn, which
has brought hunger, hardship and
uncertainties across the country, the
president would need a miracle in the
last two years of his first term to earn a
second termThe report stated that within the APC,
three governors from the North-west are
currently working underground to
ensure that they get the ticket of the
party.
One of the governors, who is believed to
be very close to the president, is also
said to be warming up for the battle.
Unnamed sources quoted in the report
said that the governor has also busied
himself with mobilisation of forces even
outside the APC; mobilising even PDP
members to cross over to the APC.
A top member of the PDP in the South-
West, who is a former minister, was
among those contacted by the governor
to move over to the APC.
A source close to the former minister
confirmed that the governor contacted
the former minister to join APC.
He said: “The governor has been calling
him to join the APC. I don’t know what
the situation is now, but they have been
talking for some time to join the APC.
“That was before the EFCC arrested the
former minister and took him to court.
He is still keeping his cards open.”
Another source close to an APC senator,
who preferred anonymity said “most of
the APC governors in the North are open
for the presidency.
“Those who are not working openly are
working secretly. But as you know, they
are watching developments at the Villa.
They want to be sure the president is not
running before they come out in the
open.
“Some of the governors are all working
and waiting for the president to make up
his mind. The problem is that the
president is not showing any sign on the
direction he might go.
“But left with the governors, they would
want him to take the Nelson Mandela
option; do one term and leave in 2019.”
Currently, a former Governor of Jigawa
state and PDP stalwart, Sule Lamido, has
declared his intention to run for the
presidency in 2019, declaring that only
God can stop him in 2019.
Lamido is currently the chairman of the
reconciliation committee of the PDP and
has been touring the whole country to
bring back the PDP to life.
He was recently in Bayelsa state with a
former governor of Kano state, Mallam
Ibrahim Shekarau to visit Governor
Seriake Dickson. Shekarau is also said to
be interested in the race.
Lamido has also been to Ekiti, Osun and
Gombe states, among others selling the
presidential agenda to them.
Meanwhile, former governor of Kano
state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who
has been having a running battle with
his governor, Ibrahim Ganduje, is also
said to have interest in the race.
There have been speculations for a long
time that he might return to the PDP,
owing to his marginalisation in the APCIn a related development, the deputy
speaker of the House of Representatives,
Lasun Yusuf, has said politicians
planning to form mega party with a
view of displacing the APC are deceiving
themselves.
Yusuf who made the statement during
the presentation of tractors to the Osun
state chapter of the All Farmers
Association of Nigeria recently said it
will be difficult for a new party to
spring up and win election..