Nigerians, Not Former Leaders, Will Decide Who Wins Presidential Election, Says Marwa

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Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd)

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Former military governor of Lagos state and the chairman of the Central Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Women and Youth Presidential Campaign, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), has said that contrary to insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari may find it difficult to get reelected due to opposition by some former leaders, it is the votes of the electorate that will decide who wins next month’s presodential election.

He also dismissed the fears that there was lack of cohesion in the campaigns because of the formation of two national campaign platforms.

Marwa said the Women and Youth Presidential Campaign team led by wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari, was not in conflict with the main campaign council headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rather, Marwa said the women and youth campaign group was meant to support and compliment the APC presidential campaign council.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Marwa said President Buhari’s chances were very bright despite opposition from some retired army generals.

When asked whether the APC presidential campaign will be reaching out to former leaders like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and retired General Ibrahim Babangida, the former military governor said though effort will be made to seek their support, no one will force them to vote for the president.

He said: “We will go everywhere, I can assure you, but if we go and knock at the door and somebody did not open, it is democracy. Those who say they won’t support the government of President Buhari are absolutely free, this is democracy, it is the people that ultimately has the say. That is what we are out to promote,” he said.

Marwa who hails from Adamawa said President Buhari will still get massive votes in Adamawa and subsequently emerge victorious at the presidential election even though one of the presidential contenders is from the state.

“In the dynamic game of politics, you cannot have it 100 percent all the way based on the contending factors. The only thing is that we the campaigners will strategise and implement strategies that will bring victory, and that, by the grace of God, we are sure and certain.

Speaking on the intra party squabbles that arose from the party primaries, the retired general said the campaign team had mapped out strategies to ensure that President Buhari defeats his colsest challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, at the presidential election.

The formation of the Women and Youth Presidential Campaign Team under the leadership of the wife of the President, after the inauguration of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, had raised concerns over the cohesion of APC’s national campaign effort.

However, Marwa said there was no cause for such concern, adding that the two platforms have been packaged to operate strategic alliance to deliver victory for the APC.

He said that the purpose of the press conference was to clarify the situation and to state that there was no conflict or clash of roles between both organisations as far as campaigns for the next elections are concerned.

“I want to make it very clear that there is absolutely no conflict or clash in functioning of both organisations, PCC and the W&YPCT, as we are fully coordinated and synchronised in our operations, including strategies,” he said.

Marwa said the party adopted the novel idea to run a dual campaign outfit in order to use the W&YPC to focus on the youth and women who constitute about 80 percent of our voting population.

“Our brief is to focus, is to further harness and energise this huge, dynamic support base in our campaign down to the street level. The women and youth campaign team will focus on house to house campaigns, seeking the endorsement of households to vote Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in the presidential election,” he said.