Nigeria: Buhari most likely to fly APC flag in 2019 election
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari this morning announced this intention to seek re-election in 2019, putting paid to speculations whether or not he would throw his hat in the rings.
Buhari, who left the country for the United Kingdom some hours after the declaration at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) may not encounter a strong challenge within the ruling party.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and 24 state governors attended the NEC meeting.
Femi Adeshina, President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity even asked other contenders “to run away now Buhari has declared”.
But Buhari has many challengers outside the party. Although Nigeria has registered more than 60 political parties, the battle is going to be among the ruling APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and a third force, which may be a coalition of political parties or conglomeration of individuals of like minds.
Major power brokers in the country like former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Goodluck Jonathan and former military chief, T.Y Danjuma had, at many occasions showed disapproval for Buhari’s second coming.
More scathing criticisms are coming from the youth who supported Buhari in 2015.
Buhari is being criticized over his lack of wits on the economy and his alleged religious and ethnic bias. Obasanjo, in his letter, said Buhari, apart from being bereft of the necessary ideas that could move the country out its current doldrums, has been unduly “nepotic” in his appointments.
“But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him,” continued Obasanjo. “One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation.
“It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of (Abdulrasheed) Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up, and not yet in the glare of the media and the public?
“The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to, wittingly or unwittingly, making the nation more divided, and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security.
“The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us; economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game”, Obasanjo said in his missive.