Uncertainty is beginning to breed among leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the re-election of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari for a second tenure in 2019. This is not unconnected with the prevailing declining goodwill of the president across the country.
It is becoming obvious to APC leaders that the goodwill that spurred Nigerians to massively support Buhari and APC in 2015 is drastically diminishing. Thus, the party leaders are at crossroads over the manipulation of the party to ensure automatic ticket for the incumbent president in 2019. Some potential aspirants for the APC presidential ticket have since jettisoned their ambitions, except Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, former Governor of Kano State. The aspirants had dumped their ambition to pave way for Buhari who has been endorsed by APC governors and some APC leaders.
The declining goodwill and the obvious failure of the APC government to deliver on its election promises or improvised governance in Nigeria in the past two and a half years, is sending strong signals to the party leaders of the risk of fielding the incumbent president for a second term except there is sudden change in governance performance.
The president has been going down on the evaluation scale following the hardships Nigerians have been going through and the inability of the APC government to improve the life of people.
The report of the appointment of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, as Director General of Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Organisation for his second term project, provoked caustic outburst demonstrating the rejection of the president for another tenure in office. The strongest opposition coming from the president’s political clime.
The Arewa Youth Forum had in a statement contended that the mobilization for second term in office amidst killings by herdsmen and fuel scarcity in the country, demonstrated insensitivity of the President and his aides.
They had maintained that those supporting Buhari’s re-election were insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
The AYF’s statement was signed by its National President, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, in Katsina, Katsina State.
Though the APC leadership acknowledged that Buhari has the right to seek second term in office, it stated that the party was not aware of any declaration by the President or the setting up a Presidential Campaign Committee.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, remarked that it is not in the APC leadership position to speak about the second term of the President but will get involved at the appropriate time. “It is not the party’s place to talk about second term. The President, within his right as provided in the constitution has the right to aspire for the second term.
The party has no reason getting involved at this stage. Until the party has been formally notified it cannot make a comment on that as it stands,” he had declared.
Meanwhile, most APC leaders who had earlier endorsed the incumbent president for second term are beginning to have a second thought over their decisions. Some are even making secret consultations, holding secret meetings with other political actors in the presidential race in search of alternative presidential candidate.
Some others do not inwardly believe in the president anymore but are merely making public acknowledgement because of the fear of being chased by the EFCC or DSS.
However, since the INEC has released the timetable for the 2019 General elections, events will soon begin to unfold in reality.