Fred Itua, Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 Presidential election, a strong ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bukkar Abba Ibrahim, has predicted that the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, may win the presidential election.
Ibrahim specifically said Northeastern states of Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba may vote against the continuation of President Buhari.
Ibrahim, who represents Yobe East, made the revelations last Saturday, in Abuja, where he declared that massive rigging may not save Buhari from imminent defeat, as realities on ground show that Nigerians are worse off under him within the last three and half years than they were, throughout the 16 years of governance under the PDP.
The three-term serving senator and three-term former governor of Yobe State dropped the bombshell against his party and President Buhari’s candidature during the world- wide internet launch of his book ‘Poorlitics’ and his 70th birthday celebration.
Ibrahim, whose wife Khadijat Ibrahim, currently serves as Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, in the administration of President Buhari, in a 17-paragraph written speech delivered at the occasion, said the North East should not be taken for granted since its not a must for it to support Buhari from the North West, as both zones only came together for the first time under one political umbrella in 2015, after several decades of party formations and democratic governance in the country, from 1950s till date.
He said: “In fact, the politics of the North East has always been different from the politics of the North West, and it was under APC that we all united for the first time.
“As we move towards the elections, I have to give a dire warning to the APC, that things are no longer the way they were in 2015, when we road to power on a cloud of euphoria, believing that things would change for better .
“Simply put, things have not changed and many things are getting worse, and the people are bitter. We should not assume we can win even with massive rigging.
“The economy has gone down because of our actions and inactions; and we are blaming the past too much, rather than solving the present problems.
“Our interest in the North East has always been progressive, and I will personally be watching for required improvements in the APC before the elections.
“Improvements that can guarantee victory, such as respecting the rule of law and releasing political prisoners as well as unselective war against corruption as against one-sided witch hunt.”
Ibrahim said if APC, under Buhari, fails to get its bearings in terms of good governance before the 2019 general elections, the North East will have no other option than to vote for candidates of other political parties, one of whom is Mr. Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.
“I shall sit back and continue encouraging my party do the right thing. But, if we don’t, I still reserve the capacity to ask my people to go our separate ways and do what must be done for good governance to reign in Nigeria,” he warned .