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Saturday, 9 September 2017

2019: The 3 Forces Already Positioned Self To Fight For Buhari's Job

2019: The 3 Forces Already Positioned Self To Fight For Buhari's Job

2019: Forces battling For Buhari's Job

Three political fronts have been identified to jostle with or for President Muhammadu Buhari's job barely two years to the next general elections when the President's tenure will expire.

It is yet unclear if President Buhari will re-contest or not. Be it as it may, fresh report according to Daily Sun Newspaper suggests that the battle for the president’s hot seat would be on three major political fronts.

According to The Sun, the first and predictably most ferocious would be fought by aspirants from the president’s party, the APC while another would be by aspirants from the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). The third group in the battle line is mainly those seeking relevance and patronage over who to support in the ensuing power struggle.

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Among leading aspirants battling to succeed Buhari in the APC include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido and former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Saturday Sun also learnt that others subtly eyeing the plum seat include the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Nasir el-Rufai of Sokoto and Kaduna states respectively.

In the main opposition party, apart from the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose who has openly declared his 2019 presidential ambition, others are former Senate President, David Mark and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.

But Saturday Sun learnt from a top APC leader that President Buhari would likely throw his hat in the ring again for another four years in 2019.

The source said that it remains his constitutional right to do so and that at no time did Buhari tell anybody that he would do only one term as claimed by the Women Affairs minister, Aisha Alhassan.

The source explained that in 2010 ahead of the 2011 presidential election, Buhari had made a commitment that if voted into power, he would do only one term but never said so in his campaign ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The battle within

Even though the next presidential election is still faraway, there is an increasing indication that the most fierce political war of succession would be fought among aspirants in the ruling party, the APC.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan literally blew the whistle for the race when she openly expressed her support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar even while still serving under Buhari.

Our source revealed that apart from Alhassan, Buhari’s political strategists would soon move against all those whose loyalty are in doubt ahead of the next presidential election.

Saturday Sun learnt that Alhassan who was sighted at the presidential villa where she restated her support for Atiku would likely be the first casualty of Buhari’s re-election ambition as she may be forced to resign after her audacious support for Atiku, her benefactor.

The Women Affairs minister’s offence was the open endorsement of the former vice president for the 2019 presidential election when she led a private visit to Mr. Abubakar.

Popularly called Mama Taraba, Mrs. Alhassan was the APC governorship candidate in Taraba in 2015, an election she narrowly lost to the current PDP governor in the state, Darius Dickson Ishaku.

Her support for Mr. Abubakar will not be surprising for political observers, as the former vice president is believed to be a major financier of the APC in the North-east including Taraba.

Although Mr. Abubakar has not publicly declared his intention to run in 2019, he is believed to be mobilising and getting ready for the election. He came third in the APC presidential primaries in the build up to the 2015 elections, losing to President Buhari and ex-Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The former vice president has never hidden his presidential ambition having contested the 2007 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Action Congress (AC) after realizing that he could not get the PDP ticket because of his frosty relationship with former President Obasanjo.

Also, the APC chieftain had contested the presidential ticket with former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, and in 2015, he lost the APC primaries to Buhari again.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Former governor of Kano State, Kwankwaso is one man whose ambition to lead the country has been in the public domain for some time now. He is currently a serving senator representing Kano Central at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly and was a presidential aspirant in the 2015 general election.

Ahead of 2019, there are feelers that his Kwankwasiyya political structure has already started underground work to project him to the plum position.

Battle from outside

As the clock ticks toward 2019, Saturday Sun findings also show that many aspirants are already working behind the scene to succeed Buhari in 2019. A top member of the PDP hierarchy confirmed that the aspirants believe that no time would be better than 2019 to upstage the APC-led government.

He said the ruling party has lost the magic wand it used in winning the 2015 presidential election and would be an easy prey in the next general election.

READ ALSO:  ...After Anti Buhari Jab, Aisha Alhassan Caught In N12m Ghost Project Fraud

Some of those eyeing the seat in the PDP family include former Senate President, David Mark, Governors of Ekiti and Gombe states, Ayo Fayose and Ibrahim Dankwambo respectively, as well as former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido. However, a source told Saturday Sun that the PDP would not like to make the mistake of the 2015 general elections by going to 2019 as a divided house.

He said that even though some aspirants of the PDP are already positioning for the presidential seat, the party hierarchy is being cautious to ensure that it presents an “unbeatable” candidate in 2019.

Positioning for patronage

For this group, the battle is among those seeking political relevance as they position for the right candidate to support ahead of the next general election. Saturday Sun learnt that even though they are not in the race, there is so much bickering among them for relevance.

Among the teeming population of people in this group, while some are in support of Buhari’s re-election, others are positioning for a possible successor to Buhari in 2019.

In the Niger-Delta region for instance, the jostling for 2019 has created a sharp divide between the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Clark and some other power brokers in the region anchored by the immediate past Pro-Chancellor of the University of Uyo, and former President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko.

While Chief Clark’s group appears to have some level of soft spot for the Buhari administration,  Okoko who is a prominent member of the Southern Leaders of Thought believes that 2019 general election may just be a pipe dream if Nigeria is not restructured before then.

The situation is not different in the South East as many of the gladiators are positioning themselves for a possible change in the political equation that may offer the zone the chance to produce the Vice Presidential slot.

The situation is tougher in the North where power brokers are literally torn apart as they battle to give allegiance to various aspirants getting set for the next general elections. While some are ready to swim and sink with Buhari, others are positioning to take a chance among other aspirants.

Source: The Daily Sun

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