Prominent Nigerians, including clergymen, political parties and ethnic groups, have carpeted the statement credited to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in which he promised to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari seeks a second term in 2019.
Odigie-Oyegun was quoted to have said that, “Buhari is the only man who can command 12 million votes even without any major campaign”, while vowing that he “will do anything within my power to ensure that he re-contests in 2019.”
The Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, was the first to react yesterday saying that Buhari and the APC had the right to run and free to seek reelection in the 2019 presidential election, provided that they fulfill all the electoral promises made to Nigerians in 2015.
The secretary of the mainstream Yoruba organisation, Bashorun Seinde Arogbofa, who spoke on behalf of the organisation, said the president and his party must not only fulfill the promises made to Nigerians before thinking of seeking reelection, but Buhari must also take Nigeria out of the current economic recession to be in good reckoning.
Arogbofa, though admitted that it was within Odigie-Oyegun’s right to urge Buhari to re-contest, he said the APC should know better, because the statement is not just untimely, it also an insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians, who are going through hard times, now that the economy is in comatose. His words: “There are lots of challenges.
If they are able to do that, he has the right to contest. He still has a mandate, the economy is down, and there is unabating unemployment, there is insecurity of lives and property, the problem of Niger Delta and that of IPOB is there, among several others. “He should fight corruption squarely without fear or favour, he should be fear to all irrespective of political party affiliations, these are the expectations of Nigerians.
People want changes in their lives”, he said. Toeing the same line, a former Minister of Transportation and a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, was categorical in his own submission, saying that, as things stand today, Buhari will lose if he decides to seek reelection.
“The APC can do whatever they like. If Buhari says he wants to contest he is free to recontest, I wish them the best of luck. But by the grace of God if Buhari recontest, he will fail. “The hunger is too much; people are very hungry and they are starving. There is no answer at all to all that.
Things were not this bad under Goodluck Jonathan”, Babatope lamented