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2019 Election: Buhari Yet To Decide; APC In Disarray, Unlikely To Win

Unic Press UK: President Muhammadu Buhari adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said on Sunday that the Nigerian leader has yet to decide on contesting 2019 Presidential Election in Nigeria.

Speaking to State House correspondents, Adesina said:

“You cannot start a race until the whistle is blown. So, when he blows the whistle and say ‘yes, this is my ambition,’ then, the race starts… of course, his health will matter a lot. It will be very important but we need to give glory to God for the way he is now,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria reported on 21st January 2017.

2019 ELECTION: DIVERGING INTERESTS DIVIDE APC 

Notwithstanding the statement from Adesina and the apparent dilemma of Buhari in making a decision to contest, the All Progressive Party (APC) chairman John-Odigie Oyegun has been spearheading a campaign for the 75-year-old to pick APCs presidential ticket.

Early this year, while speaking in Abia State during a political rally at the Umuahia Township Stadium, Oyegun claimed that the Buhari administration is performing well; that the government had quickly returned the country on the path of economic growth.

The impression one gets from Oyegun comments in the last few years’ is enough to deduce that as long as he remained the party chair, the party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential election is a given for Muhammadu Buhari, save the retired army general decides otherwise.

Oyegun assessment of Buhari presidency is not unanimous among the many APC apparatchiks.

In a recent interview, the former governor of Lagos State and one of the national leaders of the APC, Bola Tinubu, who had facilitated Buhari emergence as president, appears to have completely dissociated himself from the retired army general interest in the 2019 presidential contest.

Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu

At the annual Daily Trust Dialogue that was held in Abuja a few days ago, Tinubu tacitly withdrew his support for Buhari, urging Nigerians to vote their conscience. Hear him:

“The people must resist all appeals to unthinking passions and old prejudices. We must adhere to what our conscience reveals as the best path to good governance for all. Rather than becoming a joyous nation, Nigeria has become a cruel playground where the fears and concerns of the average person get exploited but their interests never get promoted.” (Tinubu: 2018)

In September 2016, Tinubu had demanded the resignation of the national chairman of the APC John Odigie-Oyegun for betraying trust and taking actions that are unbecoming of a true progressive.

2019 ELECTION: DO NOT CONTEST – OBASANJO WARNS PRESIDENT BUHARI

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former military ruler [from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979] who later became president [serving from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007] in a press statement ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement yesterday, advised Muhammadu Buhari to resist pressures to contest the 2019 presidential election. Obasanjo said:

“The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again… It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution… And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term!” 

Obasanjo, who accused Buhari of nepotism and clannishness, also said:

“It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth.”

The press statement from Obasanjo seems to have galvanized the Nigerian masses, many of whom are now insisting that Buhari Must GO! There is now a massive movement, physical and online, demanding that Buhari exits power in 2019.

APC HAS FAILED – JUNAID MOHAMMED, WOLE SOYINKA, UMAR GALI NA’ABBA & BALARABE MUSA

It seems many of the party’s notable followers, who supported Buhari in the 2015 presidential election, have openly or subtly, expressed disappointment with the APC-led government.

Umar Gali Na’abba, a notable member of the APC and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he is disappointed.

Umar Ghali Na’Abba

Umar Ghali Na’Abba

“I had the opportunity of sitting with the President and tell him that this is what is wrong but he told me that things were wrong before but with his election, everything is right now. That was what he told me and I was very disappointed… In a nutshell, the President has not added value to democracy by an inch.” (Punch Newspapers/Umar Gali Na’abba: 22 January 2018)

Junaid Mohammed, Wole Soyinka and Balarabe Musa are among the many prominent persons who have withdrawn their support for President Buhari, citing inefficient and ineffective government and a lack of will and vision.

Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, a noble laureate, who was among those that vigorously canvassed for a Buhari to emerge as president in 2015, has vehemently withdrawn his support.

In a series of articles on the Internet, the literary giant Soyinka flayed the APC-led government.

In one of his recent writings Impunity Of Herdsmen Must Be Stopped, Professor Soyinka had expressed shock at the degree of insecurity in Nigeria since Buhari became president, given incessant atrocities of the Jihad terror group Boko Haram and the audacity by which nomadic pastorialists of Fulani ethnicity has been maiming and killing innocents and obliterating people’s farmlands and destroying other means of livelihood of their host communities. He said:

“… the present national outrage is over impunity. It rejects the right of any set of people, for whatever reason, to take arms against their fellow men and women, to acknowledge their exploits in boastful and justifying accents and, in effect, promise more of the same as long as their terms and demands are not met.” (Wole Soyinka: 2018) 

Junaid Mohammed, a prominent politician from the northern region and one of the hitherto strong supporters of Buhari, is also utterly disappointed and frustrated by the performance of the APC-led government. His grouse seems to center more on nepotism and monumental corruption under Buhari administration; and the president’s indifference towards corrupt persons in his cabinet. Junaid conclusion is that the retired army general has completely failed to live up to public expectations in the fight against corruption.

Junaid Mohammed

Junaid Mohammed

In an interview, Junaid Mohammed said:

“Buhari and his government are thoroughly incompetent. There have been other incompetent leaders. I don’t believe that Jonathan was better.  But, at least in the case of Jonathan and some other leaders, we knew those who were in charge. In the case of the current administration, we don’t know who is in charge. They have a style of governance which cherishes secrecy and pretence. This is a government that not only talks about corruption, but lies about it. They are as corrupt as any government in the history of this country, they are more corrupt than other governments. Their own corruption is more sinister because they believe that they can take the whole country for a ride and that is an insult for a nation of 180 million people.” (Mohammed/Independent Newspapers: 21st January 2018)

“… this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism in the history of government in Nigeria.” (Mohammed/Punch Newspapers: 23rd July 2016)

The former Governor of the old Kaduna State, Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, is also very angry with the Buhari administration.

Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa

Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa

Musa, who spoke at the 54th meeting of the National Executive Committee of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), said:

“… our nation today remains in a very sorry state despite all the lofty promises and flowery speeches made by the ruling government of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the inception of the Administration in 2015. The economy remains comatose, and in some sectors, particularly in industry and commerce, it is even getting worse. Monetary and fiscal management has continued to lack coherence and consistency, or even predictability and strategic planning. Unemployment, particularly amongst the youth, who constitute the bulk of our population, has assumed critical proportions and is now, for all practical purposes, a national emergency.” (Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa: December 2017)

2019: A DAVID VERSUS A GOLIATH BATTLE?

It is unlikely that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will emerge as the winner in the 2019 presidential election, given the rapid rate by which the party’s hitherto die-hard supporters have been exiting the ship and raising serious concerns over the overall performance of the APC-led government.

It appears that a group known as the Coalition for a New Nigeria (CNN), which comprises about twenty registered political parties, may be rooting for a young professional as a consensus candidate. Should this happen, then it would be a battle that a David is likely to win, says our political analyst. The analyst argued that the masses on the streets of Nigeria are looking forward to a new Face of Nigeria.

Some of the political parties that makeup the group includes National Conscience Party (NCP), Democratic People’s Party (DCP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), People for Democratic Change (PDC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Labour Party (LP), National Action Council (NAC), Democratic Alternative (DA), Better Nigeria Peoples Party (BNPP), Action Alliance (AA), United Democratic Party (UDP), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Youth Democratic Party (YDP) and Mega Progressives Peoples Party (MPPP), the Independent Newspaper, Nigeria, reported on August 2017.


NIGERIA – ECONOMIC INDICATORS & OTHER INFORMATION

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI): The CPI which measures inflation increased 15.90 percent (year-on-year) in November 2017, illustrating a 0.01 percent points lower than the rate recorded in October (15.91). [National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria]
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): USD404.65 billion as of 2016. [World Bank].
  • GDP per capita: USD2,175.67 as of 2016. [World Bank].
  • Unemployment: “The unemployment rate increased from 14.2% in Q4 2016 to 16.2% in Q2 2017 and 18.8% in Q3 2017, the country’s Bureau of Statistics said in its report ‘Labor Force Statistics Vol. 1: Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q1-Q3 2017)’ of December 2017.
  • Population: 185.98 million as of 2016. [World Bank].
  • Life expectancy at birth [2015]: 52.9 years as of 2015. [World Bank].
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