Buhari’s days in the sun

By Emma Maduabuchi on

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Buhari // EndIf File Exists (region6)

Muhammadu Buhari, former military head of state is having his days in the sun at the moment, and enjoying it. No other Nigerian is making the news as he is currently making, since he achieved the feat of being the only Nigerian that has, for the fought time, secured the Presidential ticket of a major political party in Nigeria. All eyes have been on him.

On Thursday, December 11, he was declared winner of All Progressives Congress’ (APC) ticket after a long convention that started the previous day, Wednesday. He won with 3,430 votes, defeating Rabiu Kwankwaso, outgoing Governor of Kano State who polled 974; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar 954 votes; and Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who polled 624 votes. Nda Isaiah, Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, who polled 10 votes, was defeated as well. A total of 7, 214 delegates were accredited to vote at the convention.

Even though this is one of those times in the life of political parties, when candidates and delegates count costs after conventions; and when everything is low-keyed because the party is making consultations to mend fences generated during conventions, Buhari’s popularity continues to soar.

Joe Igbokwe, spokesperson of APC in Lagos State was not surprised about the soaring popularity of Buhari, which he said was because Nigerians were no longer interested in individuals that have destroyed the country. He boasted that if elections were conducted between Jonathan and Buhari at the present time, that he (Jonathan) would not get up to 30 per cent of the votes.

“Organise election for them today, Jonathan cannot get up to 30 per cent. Nigerians are fed up and cannot reward none performance” he declared.

Another major reason for all eyes being on Buhari at the present time is the fact that he is expected to name his running mate in less than no time.  As he is being expected to name his running mate, speculations are rising in the polity as to who it would be. Different names have been thrown around such as Ahmed Tinubu, leader of the party; Babatunde Fashola, outgoing Governor of Lagos State; Adams Oshiomhole, outgoing Governor of Edo State; and several others.

To the issue of a running mate, Igbokwe acknowledged it as a huddle for Buhari and the party, but which he was optimistic they would scale through successfully the way they successfully scaled that of presidential candidate. “We are talking; that is where our talks are resting now. We are looking for a combination that will rescue this country and we will find it. They have destroyed the country and turned the crude oil proceeds into their private pockets, which we must not allow to continue” he declared.

Tam David-west, former minister of petroleum expressed what he called “extreme happiness” that APC chose Buhari as its candidate. He described Buhari as a great Nigerian who should be allowed to govern Nigeria at this present time. Like Igbokwe, he expressed strong belief that the party will find a good and befitting running mate for Buhari because it was going to be democratically done. “It is not going to be a question of Buhari just getting up and picking a running mate; it is going to be a democratic thing. They are deliberating on it”.

Ziad Mohammed, public affairs analysts during an interview with Factnewsonline, wondered why Buhari would not step out of the circle of old political players and look the way of the younger generation. He felt Buhari should balance his old age with a younger person of between 35 and 45 years old. He said somebody in the age bracket of Abike Dabiri would be a good candidate for his vice-presidential candidate.

His words: “To me the people they are calling like Tinubu and Kayode Fayemi does not agree with me. It is the same old people that have been on the turf, why don’t they look out that circle. For me I should think he should look the way of Abike Dabiri or somebody else in her category. He is old, and so what I am expecting from him is to go for somebody who is very young. Somebody that is 40 or just above forty.”

For Ibuchukwu Ezike, Executive Director (ED) of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), said he was not interested in who would be running mate to Buhari. He said they were interested rather, on making sure that politicians do not drag the country into another crisis. He was not happy the way things were going with the politics of the country.   

Buhari is 72 years old. He was Nigeria’s military leader between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1985. He was overthrown by Ibrahim Babangida as a Major General.

Securing the APC ticket means he will square up with President Goodluck Jonathan, whose adoption was ratified by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the early hours of Thursday, December 14. The presidential election will be holding February 14 next year.

In 2003, Buhari contested for the presidency on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) against former President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP.

In 2007, he ran again on the platform of the same party against the then outgoing governor of his home state, Katsina, Umaru Yar’Adua. Again he lost.

A few months after he and some of his loyalists dumped the ANPP to float a new party, Congress for Progressive Congress (CPC) in 2011. He contested against Jonathan and lost. Now we are at the threshold of another election and he has secured the ticket of the country’s most vibrant opposition party.

Now, he is the number one newsmaker in Nigeria having achieved the singular feat of being the only one that has won the presidential ticket of major political parties in Nigeria for the fought time. But will he make it this time around, or will these his days in the sun be a momentary thing that that will pass away as usual?


Posted on December, 17 2014

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