Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Mr. Akinlayo Kolawole, has boasted that the coalition of forces by some politicians across the country with intention to wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari won’t affect the party in the 2019 general elections.
The party chieftain added that the defections of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, former Kano State Governor, Senator Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso and other APC chieftains to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can’t stop President Buhari from being reelected by Nigerians.
Kolawole stated that reelecting President Buhari for another term rests primarily on Nigerians to decide and not the sole prerogative of the Senate President and other politicians, who are now boasting as if Nigeria belongs to them.
As part of the permutations for the 2019 elections, Senators Saraki and Kwankwaso as well as Governors of Sokoto, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Benue, Samuel Ortom and Kwara, Mr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, had last week resigned their membership of APC and defected to the PDP .
Responding to the gale of defections that had hit APC in recent times on Sunday, Kolawole applauded the national leadership of the party, led by Adams Oshiomhole, for wooing former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio to APC.
He said Akpabio’s defection to APC had neutralised whatever effects Saraki and others’ defections must have caused the ruling party, taking ognisance of the respect the former minority leader commands in Nigeria’s politics.
“The whole world, with the exemption of the gullible ones knew that the trio of Saraki, Kwankwaso and Governor Tambuwal are desperate to be President of this country. But it was sad that they had refused to learn from history that desperado had never ruled Nigeria as a President.
Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan got to the seat through divine intervention at different times. Even President Buhari contested three times for the exalted position but lost out. He only won in 2015 after he was persuaded by Nigerians to lead them to the promised land when it was obvious that the PDP had ruined the country.
“Nigerians are desirous of having a President that has the passion to confront poverty, corruption and insurgency and only President Buhari has these antecedents among the contending forces for the race, not even Saraki or any other person has such records in his political career.
Nigerians had gambled in the past by electing those without passion to govern them as Presidents, but those times had gone. What they now wanted is someone who will believe that Nigerians’ money must be spent for the commoners and not those that will see it as their own personal patrimony”, he said.
He said the events of 2015 where former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senator Saraki had led some PDP bigwigs into APC, leading to the defeat of the former President Goodluck Jonathan won’t be Buhari’s fate in the forthcoming election.
Kolawole clarified that party leaders at both state and national levels are already repositioning the party, saying people of means are defecting to APC than PDP.
They said APC was not popular in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States, but the party won elections in those states. Now, they are bragging that President Buhari won’t be reelected, we will all be alive when our party will win the election to the bewilderment of the PDP.
Kolawole told the leadership of the PDP to be aware that President Buhari’s reelection became a done deal the moment elections in Ondo, Ekiti and Edo States were won, describing reliance on defections of spent forces by PDP as the factor that will eventually kill the party in the country.