The Implications Of Buhari’s Second Term Declaration By Muhammad Ajah

Another historic event occurred in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, on Monday April 9, 2018, at about 11 am, when the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari declared at the meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) his intention to run for a second term in the 2019 Presidential polls. The wide jubilation that followed this episode across the country, though expected, has rung a bell of confidence the Nigerian populace has in the President. It has also sounded a warning to those who are hell-bent in causing harm to Nigeria.

I could not hold my emotion as I immediately posted the news to the many Whats App groups I belong to and received within few hours over a thousand responses. I will relate some of these responses from friends across the country later. Due to official workload, I could not read them during office hours but I must confess that it took me over two hours at home to go through the messages many of which were from whom I do not personally know.

The choice of this topic was quite difficult for me, especially considering the situation Nigeria finds itself. It is clear that there is unabated advocacy between the Nigerian people and a Nigerian powerful political group. So, I was in a fix to choose from the words “complications, juxtapositions or lamentations” of Buhari’s declaration. Whichever of the words that fits the article is apt, so long the end is justifiable. The declaration has complicated issues for some people. It has been juxtaposed with great events happening around. And it is serious lamentation for others. Generally, the implications of the declaration have far-reaching effects and results under our present circumstances.

Though having long been awaited by compatriots, it is coming at a time when some disgruntled prominent citizens have decided to mislead citizens from the good path to development which Nigeria is currently towing and disabuse the minds of patriots against the pilot of this new dawn democracy in Nigeria. Of most prominence against the reelection bid of the President are Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who sought, against constitutionality, for a third term but was frustrated out, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who stepped aside from military rule with glaring hope of coming back to power under democracy, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma whose tenure as minister of defence witnessed unprecedented massacre of armless citizens and some others who are being relieved by the current government of some assets and properties belonging to Nigeria. Now that the die is cast, we must pray harder for Mr. President, for Nigeria and for the will of God and the masses to prevail. Those threatening brine and stone will be put to shame because the general elections will come and pass and Nigeria will remain intact, stronger and united. After all, the pastors of doom who wished Mr. President death before 2019 have started falling.

Immediately after the declaration, I posted “President Muhammadu Buhari has officially declared interest to run for second term today Monday 09 April, 2018. It is very good news for Nigerians. May God Almighty make it come true. Join the winning train!” This was the simple message that generated traffic in my Whats App hubs, with majority replying to my prayers with ameen, repeated more than once by my respondents.

Unlike the former Presidents who preferred rented crowds for their declarations, President Buhari did it in a small hall before people he need not pay because they are patriots and the progressives. The President, in his wisdom, was sure that members of his party needed to have the honour of having the great news first. That is why when people were speculating that things had fallen apart between Buhari and APC because of appointments, I was confident that all fences will be mended in due course, mostly at the right time that will please every party member. And here the time has come. The humble leader has made the executives even happier because, as the leader of the party, he pleaded for waiver for any outgoing exco member who may wish to recontest for any position in the party’s forthcoming congresses at all levels. But the aspirant must follow the constitution by resigning the current position one month before the congress.

Again, unlike other past Presidents who would have preferred to announce such sensitive national statement in worship places, Buhari, who is accused by unrepentant religious bigots, did it in an open place where all cultural and religious interests are represented, at a closed-door meeting of the APC . And lastly, unlike other former President who used to keep Nigerians waiting with claims, through paid broadcasts and media decorations, of consulting God, President Buhari did his consultations silently without bordering the Nigerian citizens.

In mid February, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, hinted that the President will seek re-election in 2019. Though the engine room of the federal government, he spoke unofficially on the matter at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, while addressing a rally organized by the Democratic Youth Congress (DYC). He was certain that there was no alternative to Buhari whose stance against corruption and indiscipline, he said, was the main cause of panic from many people.

Buhari said he was seeking reelection on the accounts of the clamour by Nigerians. In his last visits to some states ravaged by herdsmen-farmers clashes, despite the situations, people of the state turned the visits to rallies as expressions of their supports for him. Furthermore, many groups, including blocs from amongst the governors and members of the national assembly had mounted pressure on him to declare for the second term. In addition, over three hundred non-governmental organizations had been holding rallies in Abuja and across the country in solidarity of the continuity of the federal administration.

In another twist, some groups had threatened to drag the president to court if he refused to recontest for the president. And there had been speculations that he may anoint a success, though that was an unpopular view. Senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, Garba Shehu had proclaimed severally that the continuity of this administration will fast-track the nation’s development as Nigerians had waited eagerly for Buhari to run again. He lamented the huge resources wasted by the past administration and reasoned that Nigerians were eager for continuity for this administration that is providing massive infrastructure, power, railway, road and national security. “We are getting money and spending it on right priorities, maximizing Nigeria’s wealth”, he boasted, adding that efficient utilization of the nation’s resources will continue with the peoples’ endorsements of the President.

In November 2017, President Buhari gave an inkling of his interest while addressing the Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire. He made same clue in Kano in December last year. Many APC governors, ministers and party heavy weights like Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnia Onu, Orji Uzor Kalu, amongst others, have shown unhidden love for Buhari’s reelection. Against stiff opposition from Ekiti state governor, Kalu landed the state recently to campaign for Buhari’s continuity.

This declaration should relieve those who were interested in the position or make to rethink and join hands to uplift Nigeria with the trusted leader. The cabal in the government should accept the ideal. The likes of former SGF, Babagana Kingibe, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and even some governors have no option than to swallow their presidential ambitions.

Undoubtedly, President Buhari has all it takes to contest and coast to victory next year. His health is now sound. He is being encouraged by the local and international accolades over his fight against corruption and hot zest for development. We are glad of his recognition by the African Union which recently declared him AU’s Anti-Corruption champion.

Nigerians know Buhari for transparency, honesty and integrity. This declaration, I am sure, will propel him to fulfill most, if not all the promises he made in 2015. His change mantra will be translated into huge actions and development in the next few months. His uncompromising stand against corruption will never change despite the outcry from the affected looters. Though not of the talkative, he must not be cowed by the corrupt people who are afraid to be brought to book. And those who have looted the treasury of the nation should be followed by the security agencies. By God’s grace, Buhari will perform maximally in his second tenure and clear the criminals who are killing Nigeria.

Already the APC United Kingdom chapter has promised to pay for expression of interest and nomination form for the President to re-contest. Its spokesman, Jacob Ogunseye, in a statement in Abuja thumped up the declaration as the second term will make Nigeria stronger and preserve the tenets of democracy in the country. They group assured of working for the electoral success of the APC at all levels to consolidate Buhari’s achievements. “He deserves a second term and we are proud that he has declared to re-contest”, they said.

While the jubilations in Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Nasarawa and many other states continue, many of my followers on the facebook and other social media are full of hopes that God has answered the prayers of Nigerians and are ready to cast their votes for Mr. President, while few are yet undecided, even as the opposition citizens say it is not going to be easy for the APC. And as the special adviser to the President on media, Femi Adesina puts it, “there are two options for those in contention for the presidency in 2019: run or run away”.

Saraki Will Not Contest Against Buhari In 2019 – Baba-Ahmed

The Chief of Staff to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has given reasons why his boss will not contest for presidential election in 2019.

According to him, as long as President Muhammadu Buhari decides to re-contest the position, Saraki will not contest.

He added the reason is because the Senate president sees and respect President Buhari as a father.

Baba-Ahmed said: “There is no way Senator Bukola Saraki will contest for president in 2019 as long as President Buhari will contest. This I know very well because I work with him and I should know that.

“But if President Buhari says he will not re-contest the position, that is a different case. The Senate President will not contest against President Buhari because he sees and respected him as a father.

“The same thing happened in 2011 and 2015 if you remember. Saraki declined to contest against him; instead, he joined others to work for the success of the President in the 2015 elections.”

Speaking on a weekly Hausa Programme aired on DITV/Alheri Radio monitored in Kaduna on Saturday, Baba-Ahmed said he’s not aware if President Buhari will contest or not in 2019.

“I’m not President Buhari’s spokesman but I see nothing wrong if he decides to contest,” he said.

He equally said any party member that feels he/she is interested in the position can also try his luck since it’s not against the party’s constitution.

He urged President ‎Buhari to reshuffle his cabinets to enable him fulfil all his campaign promises to Nigerians.

“There is no doubt there are ministers that are incompetent in this administration and I think the sooner President Buhari makes changes the better for the party and his administration,” he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support APC as a party and President Buhari’s administration as they work towards moving the nation to greater height.

Expect No Automatic Ticket In 2019, Abdullahi Tells Buhari

The National Chairman of Northern Nigeria Union, Professor Ango Abdullahi has said that being an incumbent president does not automatically confer on President Muhammodu Buhari the 2019 presidential ticket.

He explained that Buhari’s endorsement and adoption for a second term in office by some Northern elements was not automatic ticket.

Abdulahi spoke Wednesday at a news conference in Abuja on the Union’s readiness to host the 5th Commemorative lecture in honour of late Dr. Olusola Saraki holding November 27 at International Conference Centre, ICC.

He said Buhari must earn the endorsement of the North, stressing, “Well, do not expect that the fact that Buhari is of the northern extraction will automatic translate to satisfying every aspiration, yearning of the nooks and crannies of northern Nigeria.

“In any case, he was not elected exclusively by northerners. He was elected by all Nigerians irrespective of the number of votes he got in different parts of the country.

“The election was one to elect the President of Nigeria and this is what has happened regards of how we feel in other parts of the country. Like I told, a few days ago, I was arguing about the issue of marginalization in my interview with Biafra Radio, Germany. People should expect rewards from vote they have cast. Of course, 81 percent of the Buhari’s votes came from the north.

“So, we should expect 81 percent of all shares of government to come to us but that’s not being realistic.

“That’s not what our constitution also says. So, the president I think has done extremely well in terms of his outreach to all parts of Nigeria irrespective of the votes he got in the last election.

“We may complain a little bit, some of us in the north. That’s legitimate politics. He himself admitted, I think, today that some party supporters that were expecting rewards for their support have not realized their aspirations.

“He was aware of this but I think that he has kept to the promise of he is the president of Nigeria. He belongs to all Nigerians. So, we take it that he doesn’t belong to the north or any particular person.

“He belongs to no one. I think that we should take it that he is the president of the federal republic of Nigeria and he will serve in the best interest of Nigeria. Well, there are shortcomings and we hope that someday, it will be made up”.

Saraki’s Aide Resigns To Join Another Political Party Ahead Of 2019 Election

In what has been described as a move towards 2019 election, the Special Assistant to the Senate President Bukola Saraki on Youth and students matters Ikenga Ugochinyere has resigned his appointment.

In a letter dated October 3, the aide explained that the decision was as a result of his emergence as the national chairman of a newly formed political party.

The letter reads: “Sequel to the issuance of certificate of registration by INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) to my newly formed political party and my emergence as National Chairman, I wish to tender my resignation as your Senior Special Assistant on Youths and Students’ Matters. This is because of the legal and political implications of my new status as a result of which I cannot be able to discharge my functions to you.

“Your Excellency, it has been a pleasure working with a detribalised and youth friendly leader like you for over two years now. One of the most cherished moments of my public service life is working with the Office of the Senate President and you in particular. Your commitment to the economic transformation of Nigeria and creation of jobs for millions of young Nigerians using legislative process is outstanding. You have kept all your pledges to the Nigerian people and helped rekindled the hope that a new Nigeria is possible.

“Your Excellency, thank you for the opportunity to work with you as I wish you the strength to answer higher national calling in the future.”

Buhari Will Win 2019 Election -Tony Momoh

Prince Tony Momoh, former Minister of Information and Culture, declared that Buhari cannot lose any election in Nigeria if he goes for a second term.

The founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said apart from the late Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, Buhari now understands Nigeria more than any other Nigerian leader in time past.

He also faulted opinions that the president’s state of health is affecting his efficieny, adding that Buhari’s sickness was exaggerated. He insisted that if the president will contest the 2019 election, he would win. In his statement, “One thing I can assure you is that if Buhari is strong enough and he knows he can do the job, he will contest and win. In fact, he cannot lose any election in Nigeria. One thing is when he secures a terrain you can’t take it from him”.

“Those who are going to vote are not the people on the social media; it is the ordinary people. His support base is the ordinary man. And he won’t take up a job he cannot do. Nigeria has to be re-grounded”, he added.

Meanwhile, Senator Ayo Arise has also said those hoping to capitalise on Muhammadu Buhari’s challenges to campaign against him in 2019 would be shocked by the president.

Speaking in an interview, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said he does not see anything wrong if Buhari wants to run for a second term, since he had survived the worst ailment of his life.

Source: Sun Newspaper

Okorocha Speaks On Buhari’s Presidential Ambition

The Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said he would sacrifice his 2019 presidential ambition if President Muhammadu Buhari will contest.

The governor said this on the side-lines of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Okorocha disclosed that should Buhari signifies interest to run for 2019, “we will support him.”

According to Okorocha, the president would follow due process in signifying in intentions for 2019 because the All Progressives Congress, APC, is against imposition of candidates.

He said, “My president is very democratic. If Mr. President wants to run for election, he will follow all the processes and if he is the person, we will all support him.

“In APC, there is no imposition of candidate. If Buhari is running, I will allow that man to continue, but if he is not running, I won’t sacrifice my presidential ambition.”

Similarly, Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and their Nasarawa State counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, endorsed Buhari for a second term.

Al-Makura noted that the ruling party has no better candidate for the 2019 presidential election

2019: APC Mocks Ladoja For Droping Guber Ambition

The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Oyo State Chapter, has hailed former Governor of the state, Senator Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja for abandoning the dream of contesting the 2019 gubernatorial election.

The APC noted that the decision for the guber-electorate to abandon his governorship ambition was more honorable than another disgraceful performance.

The party also said that the statement credited to Senator Ladoja that he was interested in being the Olubadan vindicated its earlier position that the former governor was the brain behind the crisis over the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.

APC in a statement made available on Tuesday by its Director of Media, Research and Strategy, Dr. AbdulAzeez Olatunde said that it would have been more interesting to have Senator Ladoja among the gubernatorial candidates for the 2019 election, noting that the path towed by the former governor not to contest was also an honourable one being an elder statesman.

The party said that it would have been interesting to have Senator Ladoja disgraced again in order to permanently affirm his political extinction.

APC explained that “The defeat suffered by Senator Ladoja and Accord Party in the hands of our party in 2015 threw him into political oblivion. We are interested in permanently sealing it in 2019 if he contests again but God has saved him with his decision not to contest again.

“Senator Ladoja’s defection to People’s Democratic Party (PDP), confirmed the precarious situation we left Accord Party after the 2015 polls. Senator Ladoja’s claim that he won the 2015 election shows that he is yet to fully recover from the shock he suffered in 2015. No doubt, his party, Accord Party, cannot recover from the loss, hence, the defection of its leader.

“We wish Senator Ladoja the best sojourn in PDP and we want to appeal to him to stop politicizing the Olubadan review. He said it himself that Olubadan is a local issue. He should walk his talk not doing something that negates his preaching. He is welcome in his new found endeavor to be the PDP National Chairman and we are ready for him and his new party in the forthcoming elections”.

 

 

Source: Daily Post

2019: Former Jigawa Gov Lamido Declares Bid For Presidency

The former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has indicated interest to run for president in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Lamido In a letter to PDP members said the party needed to reposition to take over power in 2019 and bring it back to its path of recovery.

His words: “Today, 57 years after the independence of our dear country, can we in all sincerity claim to have achieved the dream of our founding fathers? Where did we fail and from where did we begin to fail? Nigeria with its natural endowment and human capacity cannot be forgiven for being otherwise. We cannot even demonstrate our ability and capacity to meet domestic, regional and global challenges, which currently seem to overwhelm us.

“The PDP will and must lead the nation back into a bright, progressive and innovative future.”

According to him, the PDP must rekindle in Nigeria a new hope, a nation of united people with a common and assured destiny.

“To the world, Nigeria must demonstrate our confidence, tenacity in our ability and capability to address our domestic regional and global challenges that confront us.

It is against this background that I offer myself to vie for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 if my party finds me worthy to fly its flag.”

Lamido added: “I am no means claiming to be the only capable material, any PDP member is given the trust and support can fly our flag, and I expect many more aspirants will express the desire to run. My hope and prayer is that at the end of all the process which I hope will be open, fair transparent and credible is to give Nigeria in 2019 candidate who will lead the party and Nigeria. This is because there is no alternative to PDP in 2019; it will be a defining moment in the Nigerian political evolution.”

 

2019 Election: APC, NWC Interrogates Alhassan Over Pro-Atiku Comment

Senator Aisha Alhassan, the Minister of Women Affairs was on Thursday invited the senator for questioning for about two hours by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress.

Aisha was invited by the party leadership to defend the controversial comments she made about whom she would support for the 2019 presidential election.

The minister, who arrived at the APC National Secretariat at about 2 pm, held a closed-door meeting with the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC until 4 pm.

She told newsmen she could not speak on what transpired at the meeting since the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, was available.

The minister said, “I can’t make any statement when the party spokesperson is here with me. I am not the party spokesperson.”

Abdullahi, who spoke to reporters shortly after seeing the minister off to her vehicle, confirmed that the minister was at the secretariat to respond to issues relating to a series of controversial comments she made about the 2019 presidential election.

The party spokesman said the party leadership refrained from making official comments on the issue because it felt it was only proper to hear her side of the story before taking a position.

Abdullahi further explained that the party leadership agreed that there was nothing wrong with her decision to declare support for another member of the party.

It, however, queried what it described as her “indiscretion” considering the time she made the comment.

Abdullahi said, “Since the issue of the comment she made came up, the party has not said anything regardless of what individuals might have told you because we are a party that recognizes the right of her members to express their opinions.

“We also had an opportunity to discuss with the minister to understand what she said and in what context she said so before we know how to respond.

“So, when she came, we asked her to explain to us what truly transpired and in what context she said what she said and she did offer these explanations.

“Now, having offered her explanations, we acknowledged that as a member of this party, she is entitled to her opinion and she is entitled to her choice.

“However, as a senior member of this party, her statements represent an act of indiscretion because, with the kind of position she occupies even within the party, she is a party leader in her own right, what she said was not what she was supposed to say at the time that she said it.

“She ought to have exercised greater judgment than she did and she acknowledged that maybe the timing was wrong, and she apologized.”

The party spokesman stressed that nobody questioned her right to take the position she had taken because she had the right to support whoever she wanted to support.

He noted that this was even more so that the person she declared support for was a member of the party.

Asked if Allhassan was advised to resign her appointment, Abdullahi said, “No. That did not come up. What we just said was that we understand the context in which she said what she said, but it was an act of indiscretion for someone occupying the position she is occupying in the party to make that kind of statement.

“If this was 2018 and the people have filed their applications to say they are contesting and she now comes out and says she is supporting this person, how can that be an issue? But we are still in 2017.

“We are still far away. Atiku (Abubakar) has not said he is contesting. He has not collected any form. He has not announced to anybody that he is contesting. So, that is what we mean by the timing. It is not that she had no right to say what she had said.”

He, however, refrained from making any comments with respect to recent comments made by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Alhassan caused a stir last week when she declared support for Atiku for the 2019 presidential election should he decide to run.

 

INEC Announces Dates For 2019 General Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced dates for 2019 general elections.
In a statement posted on its website Thursday, the electoral commission said it was making the announcements well ahead “in order to ensure certainty in our dates for elections, and to allow for proper planning by the Commission, political parties, security agencies, candidates and all stakeholders”.
“To that extent, the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, 16th February 2019, while the Governorship/State Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections will hold on Saturday 2nd March 2019.”
The commission also announced that 23 of its electoral officers being prosecuted for various electoral offences will be placed on half salary and will not report for duty pending the determination of their respective cases by the court.