Omololu Ogunmade, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said thursday that the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, as the presumed presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reassured the opposition party of victory in the forthcoming general elections scheduled for the first quarter of next year.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the party pointed out that Buhari’s fear to contest an elective presidential primary, for which he and a few APC leaders scared away other presidential contestants within their party with threats and high nomination form fees, had ended up ruining APC’s chance of fielding a good candidate for the election.
According to the opposition party, “Had President Buhari shed his desperation for power and allowed for internal democracy within the APC, particularly when it became clear that Nigerians across board have become averse to his re-election, due to his incompetence and insensitivity to the plight of the citizens, there would have been little hope for the APC.
“In muzzling contest in APC and gleefully emerging a sole candidate, President Buhari has merely won a pyrrhic victory; a General without a troop, with no capacity to face a general election, as the army of stakeholders and the masses that supported him in 2015 have since left him because of his unfulfilled promises and many failures in governance.
“Now that Mr. President has confirmed by his body language that he had no chance in a party he leads, how then can he stand a chance in the general elections, where millions of Nigerians, who are suffering untold hardship because of his misrule are only waiting to deal him a blow with their votes?”
PDP added, “Owing to Buhari’s incompetence, Nigerians’ purchasing power had become abysmally low, industries have wound up with attendant mass job losses; foreign direct investments have hit all time low, international partners have totally lost confidence in doing business with our compatriots, while the administration had no economic blueprint except borrowing”.
The party said since Buhari’s declaration to contest the 2019 election, true democrats and other well-meaning citizens had continued to leave the APC in droves to the repositioned PDP, which has now become the rallying platform for all Nigerians, in their collective quest for a new president among the array of very credible aspirants in the PDP.
The party said while it was settled that Buhari would be no match to any of its presidential aspirants, all indices point to his imminent defeat as the PDP remains committed to a credible, free, fair and transparent presidential primary, where Nigerians will freely participate to throw up that president that will lead the country to the path of unity, peace, good governance and economic prosperity for our people.
Masari: Katsina Will Deliver 2.5m Votes to Buhari
Meanwhile, Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Bello Masari, thursday in Abuja boasted that the state would deliver 2.5 million votes to Buhari at the 2019 presidential elections.
Masari who made the declaration while answering questions from journalists after meeting Buhari in the State House, said whereas Katsina State gave the president 1.5 million votes in 2015, it will top it with additional 1 million votes in 2019.
He said, “The people of Katsina are 100 per cent behind President Buhari and they will continue to support him even after the elections of 2019.
“We expect, based on figures coming out of the registered voters to give him nothing less than 70 to 80 per cent.
“We don’t have the figures now because they have completed additional registration.
“We are not talking about the last exercise that led to the election of 2015 and in 2015, he got almost 1.5 million votes from Katsina State.
“So, we expect that by 2019, we will be able to give him additional one million votes making it not less than 2.5 million votes.”
On the raging issue of direct and indirect primary in the APC, the governor dismissed the insinuation that it was a serious issue.
According to him, there is nothing contentious about it because whatever option adopted, whether direct, indirect primaries or consensus option, it is adequately provided for in the party’s constitution and hence, is a non-issue.
“It is not a hot cake. First of all, let me say from all the states that we have read and heard from, Lagos, Kano and Niger are the only states that have opted for direct primaries in a country of 36 states plus FCT,” he said, adding, “I think it shouldn’t be a contentious issue.”