…Says automatic ticket’ll diminish President’s popularity
From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Ekiti State and member of
the 7th House of Representatives, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, has
declared that the exit of former Vice President Abubakar Atiku from
the party would have no deleterious impact on the chances of the party in 2019.
Faparusi stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has a mass appeal in
the North and southern parts of the country before becoming President,
saying : “the President needs no support from Alhaji Atiku to return
to power in 2019.
“In the 2007 presidential election, President Buhari came second with
over 7 million votes as an individual while Alhaji Atiku, a sitting
Vice President came third with over two million votes”.
On the call by some governors, including Governor Rochas Okorocha ,
who doubles as the Chairman of the APC governors’ forum for right of
first refusal for the president ahead of of 2019, Faparusi said the
proponents are only underestimating President Buhari’s electrifying
acceptability across the country.
He exhumed confidence that the President enjoys immense popularity
within and outside APC to win election, taking cognizance of his
prudent lifestyle, anti-corruption posture and masses-oriented
Faparusi said these in Ado-Ekiti, on Monday, while reacting to the
resignation of Atiku from APC, where the former number two man cited
alleged lopsidedness to justify his action.
Atiku had last week in a letter to the State Chairman of APC in
Adamawa State resigned his membership but didn’t state the next
political step he will take in spite that rumour has it that he was
already negotiating with the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on his
Faparusi said President Buhari and the APC remain solid and acceptable to Nigerians
with or without Atiku, describing the noise over his defection as
mere fantasy hinged on old glory.
He continued,: “President Buhari will win free and fair in APC primary in
2019, that was the principal reason why some over- ambitious APC
stalwarts may want to leave the party to pursue their ambitions, any
other reason was a fallacy and cheap blackmail .
“Nigeria can’t criminalise defection , it is however a right which I
believe should be exercised responsibly. We can only have one
President at a time and there is no reason aside selfish motive to
want to change a focused , sincere and performing President like
President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I urge other still nursing the ambition of displacing President
Buhari to do that responsibly by facing the President in a free and
fair primary come 2019 instead of leaving the party or sowing
Faparusi said those calling for automatic ticket for President
Muhammadu Buhari are only playing to the gallery .
“People calling for automatic ticket for the president are only
playing to the gallery, as such idea will neither serve the overall
interest of the party nor the president.
“To the best of my knowledge and understanding of politics , asking
for automatic ticket for the president is tantamount to playing down
his popularity .
“Going by records, President Buhari remains an enigma being the first
Nigerian to defeat a powerful sitting president. That is why I
support the call for a free, fair and transparent primary in the
presidential poll the way I want it in Ekiti governorship”, he stated.
Faparusi added that and fair free primary remains the only tonic
the APC needs to win the 2018 governorship poll in Ekiti, saying
imposition will wreck the party and render its candidate useless at