rom AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
As political gladiators perfect plans for the 2019 presidency, a former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the coming presidential election is a foregone conclusion.
Speaking exclusively with Saturday Sun, Marwa, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who, in a recent communiqué by The Marwa Organization (TMO) endorsed President Buhari for a second term in office, said from calculations, the President is the only formidable candidate standing for the forthcoming presidential election who no one can beat.
He said the president’s victory in 2019 will be a huge landslide, noting that in 2015, President Buhari defeated an incumbent president. While dismissing the ambition of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Jigawa governor Sule Lamido and ex-Kaduna governor Ahmed Markafi to wrestle power from Buhari in 2019, the retired Army General and diplomat said they all stand no chance against the President.
“The president’s victory in 2019 will be a huge landslide. In 2015, he beat a sitting president. In 2019, tell me, who will he be facing? His victory is a foregone conclusion. Other parties should be strategising towards 2023 because 2019 would be a no contest. That is the reality. We are praying for his good health,” the Adamawa state-born Marwa said.
Marwa also took note of the mammoth crowd that welcomed the president during his state visit to Kano recently, saying it was a mark of the president’s popularity and acceptability by the electorate. He further said in the north East where he (Marwa) hails from, it was already a done deal for Buhari, declaring that in the north East geopolitical zone, it will be an overwhelming Buhari vote.
Marwa further did a zone-by-zone electoral calculations, explaining how President Buhari would win the election should he throw his hat into the ring. “In the business of running for the presidency, you must do some calculations. It is not a theoretical thing that you just look at somebody’s face, you like the face and say that he is going to win.
“Look at the performance, look at the votes that came out of Kano and what is possible and compare Kano votes, for instance, to the South East votes. By the time you remove Imo State that is APC, total the votes for the rest of the states in the southeast and Kano. That is one. Then, look at the votes of the northwest; the entire northwest votes, actually, are more than South South and South East.
“Obviously, an unpopular candidate from the North can be beaten. But when you have somebody like President Buhari taking full advantage of the North West, add that to the North East, it is almost double of the votes from the South South and the South East.
In essence, the total registered voters of South South and South West combined is equivalent to North West alone – each with about 17.6m voters. Assuming those cancel out in 2019, compare to 2015 results, the South West, an APC zone, breaks the equilibrium with nearly 14 million voters. Then comes the North East zone, with 9 million voters and four APC governors out of six . And we still have North Central also with 9 million voters and all six APC governors.
“And as a bonus, you look at the North Central and the South West, Lagos, for instance, which is an APC stronghold and not even to mention the other South West states. And even if you break in the North Central, again, it is won already.
“So, that is why I said that the opposition should begin to think of 2023 because 2019 is a foregone conclusion. And it was a sitting president that he defeated. So, they should tell me who else would come that would be stronger than a sitting president to face him. This is a strategic calculation. We are just praying for the Almighty God to grant him good health to face the challenges. The victory is certain,” Marwa further said.
In 2015, retired military officers were said to have cued behind President Buhari to ensure his victory at the March 28, 2015, presidential poll. Marwa believed that the situation would not be different in 2019, even though some of the Generals belonged to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “Naturally, it is something that you can’t answer like that because there are some Generals in other parties. But even though I know that there are few in other parties, the majority, definitely, are behind President Buhari.
“And I think you can take that authoritatively that although there are few in other parties, the majority of retired Generals and Armed Forces personnel are going to be behind him. And one of the key reasons has to do with the efforts that he is putting up on security. It is clearly as a result of his background and experience, as well as integrity. That is another factor.
“You can see some of the long-abandoned projects coming up. Look at the gas pipelines that were approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Mambilla Hydroelectric power project, which has been there for 45 years without anybody looking at it. Also, look at the diversification of the economy. For the first time, we are serious on agriculture and solid minerals. “In terms of infrastructure, look at the East-West road in which more money has just been approved and also my own part of the world, the North East. Most of those roads that were abandoned are coming back. Look at the Jadaganyi road, look at Hong to Michika road, Gombe to Numan; several of those roads which had been death traps for years, they are coming back. Don’t also forget the efforts on Boko Haram.
“And also look at the human angle to it. The police who were in Biafra, you remember? How many years ago? They have all forgotten about this category of people. Imagine somebody coming back to do that,” Marwa said.
Asked if the South East was going to queue behind the President as a result of the approval of payment of pension to retired Biafra policemen, Marwa said even though there had been sympathy in the South East for the PDP over the years, “but this time around, there would be more showing on Buhari’s side.”
“There would be a definite improvement. There would be a more positive showing from the South East. He has expanded his base in the South East,” Marwa added.