President Muhammadu Buhari is reluctant to run for President in 2019 but for the pressure being mounted on him by some members of the Federal Executive Council led by Rotimi Amaechi, the former Rivers State governor and current minister of transportation and some state governors.
A top source informed about the development said that the impression created to the public about the 2019 presidential election especially within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was not altogether correct.
A controversial and diminutive governor from the North-West is reportedly spearheading the “Buhari Must Run” campaign following his perceived poor performance and rising unpopularity in his home state. The calculation, according to the source, is for governors like him to use Buhari’s re-election to legitimise and build more momentum for their personal and selfish political aspirations to get re-elected.
In the case of Amaechi, the source said; “If Buhari refuses to run in 2019, what is Amaechi going to do? He can’t return to Rivers. His political career will end and he will probably have to go on exile. So it is not in the interest of politicians like Amaechi for Buhari not to run in 2019.”
When asked if Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Sokoto State governor, was being considered by the APC as a likely replacement for Buhari, the source replied with an emphatic “no”, stating that the APC considers Tambuwal more a PDP member than an APC member. “APC cannot pick Tambuwal as its presidential candidate. The guy is more of PDP than APC. His body language shows clearly that he is one of those watching the political weather and waiting for the right time to defect to PDP. APC cannot trust him with a presidential ticket”, the source said.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued at last week’s Federal Executive Council Meeting when Solomon Dalung, the minister of sports, asked President Buhari if he had reappointed Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, as the director-general of his re-election campaign for the 2019 presidential election.
Thisday reports that Dalung told the president that “someone” had been going around, claiming to have been appointed the DG of the president’s re-election campaign and that the president would be seeking re-election in 2019. He said that person seemed to be the only one who knew about this.
He, therefore, sought to hear from the president if the claims were true. He added that as his ministers, they all deserved to know and hear such things directly from him because it could give undue advantage to those advancing the cause. Immediately, there was pin-drop silence in the council chamber. All eyes were locked on the President. But Buhari quickly broke the ice as he turned off Dalung’s microphone and moved on to see if there was anyone that had anything to say under AOB, without as much nodding to the issues raised by Dalung, let alone addressing his concerns.