Political gladiators in the northern part of the country are warming up in preparation for the 2019 election
Some prominent political actors are interested in replacing President Buhari
Their preparations are hinged on the possibility that President Muhammadu Buhari may not run for a second term
A report by New Telegraph indicates that political gladiators in the northern part of the country are warming up in preparation for the 2019 election.
President Buhari has not spoken on his plans for 2019
According to the report, their early preparations are hinged on the possibility that President Muhammadu Buhari may not run for a second term.
Most of the politicians are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also serving governors.
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are also not left out of the race, hoping that with the dismal performance of the APC-led federal government going into two years will give them an advantage in 2019.
There is the belief in political circles that with the economic downturn, which has brought hunger, hardship and uncertainties across the country, the president would need a miracle in the last two years of his first term to earn a second term.
The report stated that within the APC, three governors from the North-west are currently working underground to ensure that they get the ticket of the party.
One of the governors, who is believed to be very close to the president, is also said to be warming up for the battle.
Unnamed sources quoted in the report said that the governor has also busied himself with mobilisation of forces even outside the APC; mobilising even PDP members to cross over to the APC.
A top member of the PDP in the South-West, who is a former minister, was among those contacted by the governor to move over to the APC.
A source close to the former minister confirmed that the governor contacted the former minister to join APC.
He said: “The governor has been calling him to join the APC. I don’t know what the situation is now, but they have been talking for some time to join the APC.
“That was before the EFCC arrested the former minister and took him to court. He is still keeping his cards open.”
Another source close to an APC senator, who preferred anonymity said “most of the APC governors in the North are open for the presidency.
“Those who are not working openly are working secretly. But as you know, they are watching developments at the Villa. They want to be sure the president is not running before they come out in the open.
“Some of the governors are all working and waiting for the president to make up his mind. The problem is that the president is not showing any sign on the direction he might go.
“But left with the governors, they would want him to take the Nelson Mandela option; do one term and leave in 2019.”
Currently, a former Governor of Jigawa state and PDP stalwart, Sule Lamido, has declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2019, declaring that only God can stop him in 2019.
Lamido is currently the chairman of the reconciliation committee of the PDP and has been touring the whole country to bring back the PDP to life.
He was recently in Bayelsa state with a former governor of Kano state, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau to visit Governor Seriake Dickson. Shekarau is also said to be interested in the race.
Lamido has also been to Ekiti, Osun and Gombe states, among others selling the presidential agenda to them.
Meanwhile, former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who has been having a running battle with his governor, Ibrahim Ganduje, is also said to have interest in the race.
There have been speculations for a long time that he might return to the PDP, owing to his marginalisation in the APC.
In a related development, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, has said politicians planning to form mega party with a view of displacing the APC are deceiving themselves.
Yusuf who made the statement during the presentation of tractors to the Osun state chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria recently said it will be difficult for a new party to spring up and win election.