Buhari’s declaration: APC governors react
The Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, and his Niger State counterpart, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, on Monday threw their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to re-contest presidential election in 2019.
They noted that the President will win as “he is the single kinetic president in Nigeria’s political life till date”.
Buhari had at the National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja on Monday declared his intention to run for the election. The two governors who have spoken up are both serving on the platform of the APC.
While Shettima pointed out that the President has the right of first refusal of the candidature of the party, Bello stated that the President’s decision has rekindled hope and reassured Nigerians that the restoration agenda, the war against corruption and enthronement of good governance for the country will sail safely to coast.
Briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Shettima said “We are fully in support of his decision and it’s part of democratic culture, traditionally the president has the right of first refusal of the candidature of their party, so it’s not something that is unusual or unwarranted or unconstitutional he has done the right thing, he is going to contest and we are solidly behind him.
On whether the President consulted with the governors, he said, “He is not under any obligation to consult governors or anybody; he has been under tremendous pressure to make that pronouncement so we should heave a sigh of relief since he has finally announced his intention to contest.
Asked how supportive the governors will be to the President’s ambition, he said, “We will give him the kind of support we gave him in 2015.”
On whether the declaration will constitute a distraction to the government, the Borno governor said “Certainly it is not distracting government, it will even calm down governance so that people will concentrate on the real act of governance and deliver the dividends of democracy.”
On his part, the Niger governor, in a statement signed by his Coordinator, Media and Publicity, Mr. Jide Orintunsin, commended the decision of the President, stressing that Buhari’s pronouncement has rekindled the hope of average Nigerians for a better tomorrow.
Bello said, “It was so heart warming when Mr. President today told members of the national executive committee (NEC) of our great party of his intention to seek re-election. This is the brightest moment for our country. A moment that has rekindled the hope of our people. A moment that has reaffirmed that all the good works, the good initiatives of Mr. President that saw us out of economic recession the country was plunged into, by mismanagement of past administrations will now be sustained to take us to the desired enviable position among the community of nations.
“By this pronouncement, President Muhammadu Buhari has exhibited a high sense of a good leadership. He has shown that he listens to the yearnings of millions of Nigerians who called on him to continue the good work he started since 2015. He would have dashed the hope of teeming Nigerians, especially the younger ones who are looking up to him, if he has turned down this call to serve.”
Governor Bello then called on Nigerians to drum support for the President, declaring that the nation cannot afford to go back to the dark days of extravagancy and impunity.
“The onus is now on all good and well meaning Nigerians to rally round our President and ensure that the reactionary forces of the opposition and agents of doom are not allowed to dash the much cherished hope we all have in the new emerging Nigeria by doing the needful during the next general elections.
“We cannot afford to go back to the dark days of extravagency and impunity. President Muhammadu Buhari has changed the game, he has brought sanity to governance, the war against insurgency is nearing logical conclusion and our economy is improving. Posterity will not forgive us as a people if we allow this golden opportunity to slip off our hands. Mr. President has declared, we have to do the needful as a people by supporting him,” he advised.