The much talked 2019 generation might
still be far but some political gladiators in the northern part of the
country are warming their political machines in preparation for the
A report emanating from the New Telegraph Newspaper this
morning revealed some northern political gladiators have, therefore,
lined up some prominent political actors for the 2019 presidency.
it was gathered that while some (within
the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC) are banking their
preparations on the possibility that President Muhammadu Buhari may not
run for a second term, others within the ruling party and the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) are hoping that with the performance of the
APC-led Federal Government going into two years, the Buhari myth that
shocked the whole country in the 2015 general elections might not count
There is the belief 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.
It was gathered that within the APC,
three governors from the North- West are currently working underground
to ensure that they get the ticket of the party.
They are currently banking on Buhari not
running. One of the governors, who is believed to be very close to the
president, is also said to be warming up for the battle.
Sources 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.
That was before the former minister started having problems with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
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, told
New Telegraph that “most of the APC governors in the North are open for
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.
Many of them are hoping that the option
would be accepted by the president,” the source said. But while the APC
governors and stalwarts like former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar are
keeping their plans under wraps and waiting on Buhari, that is not the
case with the PDP leaders in the North.
Currently, a former Governor of Jigawa
State, Dr. 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 in his bid to talk sense into the party faithful.
Sources close to him said that the visits are not just reconciliatory. He is also selling the presidential agenda to them.
It was gathered that part of the reasons
the crisis in the PDP has lingered so long with failed peace moves
trailing it is the ambition of the two factional chairmen, Senator Ali
Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi to run in 2019.
A top member of the PDP informed New
Telegraph that while it is in the open that Sheriff wants to run,
Makarfi’s ambition is latent and was discovered by some governors of the
party, who are not comfortable with it. He said: “We know that Sheriff
wants to run in 2019.
He has not hidden it, but we discovered
along the way that Makarfi is also interested. That is what is behind
the crisis in the party.
Both factions want to install a chairman
at the convention that would be loyal to them. That is why we have not
been able to make progress in the peace process.
A lot of factors, including the
governors and of course, the influence of the APCled Federal Government,
are at play here. But the ambitions of some of our leaders are a major
Although Atiku has severally denied
having any ambition for now, his name keeps popping up at both the APC
and the PDP camps. Some people in the PDP believe that the former vice
president has more than a passing interest in the PDP affair.
But his major obstacle to the presidency
remains his former boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has
ensured that Atiku neither emerged on either platform in the past.
It was further learnt that former
governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who has been having a
running battle with his governor, Ibrahim Ganduje, who he installed,
might also have an interest in the race.
Kwankwaso has kept a low profile, partly
because of his battles in his native Kano. There have been speculations
for a long time that he might return to the PDP, owing to his
marginalisation in the APC.
But it was learnt that the North-East
PDP are also up to the battle for the presidency. Since 1999, only the
North-West has produced the presidents of Northern extraction – Buhari
and the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The argument is that North-East has more
PDP presence than any other part of the North. “This is the only region
in the North that has two PDP governors and some members of National
Except one member of House of Assembly
in Kaduna State, there is no PDP presence in the whole of North-West.
“So, for equity and justice, the next PDP presidential candidate should
come from North-East.
You cannot pick a presidential candidate
from North- West where the candidate of APC in the person of President
Buhari comes from and expect to win,” a chieftain of the party from the
North-East explained. Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, who is
in his second term in office is also said to be nursing presidential
The source said it is on the strength of
this that Atiku wants to come back to the PDP. Sheriff had alleged that
an APC chieftain was funding Makarfiled National Caretaker Committee
because the party’s presidential ticket for 2019 has been reserved for
him. A minister in Buhari’s cabinet insisted that most people were
underestimating the president by his lack of signs. “Let’s wait and
Things will unfold so fast soon. Is there any governor in the North that won an election?
It is Buhari that won the election for both the governors and the APC in the North,” he told New Telegraph.