A chieftain of the Accord Party (AP) and former presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, has advised Senate President Bukola Saraki to leverage on his increasing popularity and contest the 2019 presidential election.
Okupe stated this while analysing the All Progressives Congress (APC) crisis and the recent breakaway of the Reformed APC on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily yesterday.
According to him, “Apart from Buhari, the next most visible and most notable politician in Nigeria today is Saraki, and he would do himself a great favour if he steps into the ring and run for president, because he has the pedigree.
“Saraki had the required exposure and experience from being a Special Assistant to the president to being a two-term governor, and now the Senate president. He has been through different stages of leadership and this makes him stand out among many other aspirants who have indicated interest to become president.”
Asked about the feasibility of Saraki clinching the APC presidential ticket against President Muhammadu Buhari, who has also indicated interest to run for a second term on the platform of the party, Okupe said: “APC would be doing themselves a favour if they do not allow the president to run, and I don’t see Saraki contesting primaries in the APC, it is impossible, the hostility against him in the APC is too much, and that is why he needs to move to another party where he can form alliance with other parties to contest.”
Analysing the chances of President Buhari winning the 2019 elections with the present crisis rocking the APC, the former presidential spokesperson said: “Buhari’s government and the APC are presently at the lowest ebb of popularity. The saying that Buhari has 12million votes in the North is delusional, the northerners are also affected by the economic problem Nigeria is facing, and a larger percentage of the goodwill and popularity Buhari enjoyed before the 2015 elections have diminished because the people are not happy.
“Take for instance, Buhari had about two million votes from the Middle belt, now 80 percent of that is gone.”
Okupe opined that any vote Buhari and the APC lose in the North cannot be recovered anywhere else.