President can’t win, free, fair election, says Nyiam
Shola Oyeyipo and Segun James
Former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has assured Nigerians that despite the antagonism of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president cannot stop the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.
But one of the leaders in Southern Nigeria, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd), said President Buhari lacks leadership qualities and cannot win any free and fair election.
Tinubu who made the assertion yesterday while addressing a special stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, also blamed the state of affairs in Nigeria on the former leader, who he accused of not leading Nigeria well while at the helm of affairs.
Obviously unhappy with what he described as frequent attacks on the President Buhari-led administration by Obasanjo, Tinubu told the gathering that Obasanjo’s criticisms would not be enough to stop Nigerians from voting for President Buhari in the next general elections.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done well. He deserves another term and we will support him to win because he is our man. “Forget about Obasanjo’s letters and his frequent attacks on our president. He cannot stop the president because Nigerians would re-elect him.
“Obasanjo has spent his own time and as such, he should leave Buhari alone and face his business because he cannot tell us who to vote for. The former president is part of the challenges we are facing in the country presently and that is because he did not lay the right foundation when he was president,” he said.
On the decision of some APC members to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tinubu said the defections would also not stop Buhari’s re-election.
“Those who want to defect can defect; that is their problem.APC remains unshaken and these people will know the reality in the election,” he said.
According to him, the party was not shaken by the defections.
He reassured party loyalists that the APC is on course and that it will get victory in 2019.
The APC leader said the results of the Kogi, Katsina and Bauchi States by- elections won by the APC are indications of how the general elections would go.
Tinubu also told Lagos APC members that the direct primary experimented in Osun State would also be applied in the Lagos APC primary.
He therefore urge members to obtain their membership cards, stressing that new members should meet their chairmen to collect their cards which would allow them participate in the primary election.
“We will open a register for every member and we do everything possible to make sure that you all collect your membership cards,” he told the gathering.
The APC leader commended the acting President Yemi Osinbajo for his prompt response to the invasion on the National Assembly by men of the Department of State Security (DSS).
But speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, Nyiam insisted that President Buhari cannot win free and fair election, and urged Nigerians to resist any attempt to rig the election by the APC.
“There is election coming; Nigerians should not allow Buhari to rig the election because from all indications, he would not win a free and fair election, even people in the North-west are divided over his candidacy, so are you telling me the Igbo man will vote for Buhari?
“Are you telling me, as knowledgeable as the Yoruba people are, and as Yoruba land has been attacked by Fulani herdsmen; they did not even respect the Yoruba land and its leaders who made Buhari president – will they vote for him? So, if that can happen in Buhari’s first term, what should they expect in second term?
“Are you also telling me that the man in the Middle Belt, the the North-central zone; the man in Southern Borno, that is Chibok area; the man in Adamawa, Taraba and Benue States will really vote for a president whose victory would mean more killings of their people?
“So, all Buhari could be banking on is rigging the election. And all those people who are rushing to him are relying on that.”