• God has answered our prayers –PDP
Magnus Eze, Aidoghie Paulinus; Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Imo State Governor, who is also Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and and his counterpart from Borno State, Kashim Shettima, are backing President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for a second term.
Buhari declared his intention during the All Progressives Congress National Executive Committee (NEC) which held in Abuja, yesterday.
On his part, Okorocha said the president’s declaration could be adjudged “a patriotic response to the clarion call of Nigerians of goodwill for him to lead the country for another four years.”
The governor said president Buhari has done well to deserve a second term and remarked that those who had wanted to blackmail him out of going for another term can now find other meaningful things to keep themselves busy.
He also said the APC has no apology to tender because it has done wonderfully well “considering the magnitude of the rot it met on ground in 2015” and also, noted that “the antenna of the opposition in the country will finally be lowered when the campaigns begin and the party will be showing Nigerians its achievements in the states under its control and at the federal level.”
To Borno governor, Buhari did the right thing by declaring intent to run for the 2019 presidency
He described Buhari as “a single kinetic president in Nigeria’s political life.”
Shettima told State House Correspondents, after meeting with Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, in Aso Rock, Abuja, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors are behind the president.
“Traditionally, the president has the right of first refusal of the candidature of their party, so, it is not something that is unusual or unwarranted or unconstitutional. He has done the right thing; he is going to contest and we are solidly behind him.”
On whether the President consulted with the APC governors before making open his intention to seek re-election, he replied: “He is not under any obligation to consult governors or anybody. He has been under tremendous pressure to make that pronouncement, so, we should heave a sigh of relief since he has finally announced his intention to contest. We will give him the kind of support we gave him in 2015.”
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in its reaction to Buhari’s declaration, through its National Secretary, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri, said “God has answered our prayers.”
Tsauri told Daily Sun, in Katsina that “the president’s decision is a welcome development as far as we are concerned in the PDP because that means Buhari will personally witness his defeat and that of his APC.
“We are confident that he is already a loser, so, defeating him at the polls will be a non- issue. Our only concern is that he should be team player and gentleman enough to concede defeat at the appropriate time. He should be willing to surrender to us when he loses the election in 2019.
To the National Secretary of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Dr. James Okoroma, “Nigerians will decide Buhari’s fate since it is his inalienable right, which no one can deny him.”
The ADP scribe said Nigerians would consider Buhari’s performance in the last three years, in determining whether he deserved a second tenure.
“Nigerians would decide and in doing so, they will consider the current infrastructural decay, the failed healthcare and educational systems. Nigerians will look at the present state of insecurity in the land and the haphazard anti-corruption fight,” Okoroma added.
•I’ll back Buhari if… Bakare
Meanwhile, Founder and Senior Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly in Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said he will support Buhari if he canvasses his support.
Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), said it is the president’s entitlement to seek re-election, and that nothing forbade the president, constitutionally, from seeking re-election.
Bakare did not, however, disclose whether he will cast his vote for the president during the election.
“It is a secret vote for that remains my secret.”
Bakare further said as the 2019 general election draws near, “Nigerians should not confuse electrocacy with democracy.”
But, the Conference of Nigeria Political Party (CNPP) differed.
The CNPP said “Buhari has nothing to show Nigerians, in terms of concrete achievement, to make him think of seeking re-election beyond the fact that re-contesting is a legal right.”
CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, maintained that Nigerians should be thinking of electing a patriotic politician who understands economic dynamics and inclusive governance.
“It is disappointing that the president will choose to declare for a second term at a time when the security of lives and property of Nigerians cannot be guaranteed.
“The president’s declaration of intention to run at this time is the height of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians who are suffering under his administration as he has nothing concrete in terms of achievement to show Nigerians. Today, we can count businesses that have either collapsed or are operating under the worst economic condition in the history of our dear country, with no single high profile conviction in his so-called anti-corruption war, in three years.
“His anti-corruption campaign has obviously be turned into a blackmailing tool aimed at painting one political party black, while anyone accused of corruption, who joins the APC, automatically becomes a saint and must be protected to enjoy his loot. That is not war against corruption.”