" />
Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

2019: APGA may adopt Buhari

By Obinna Ezugwu

President Muhammadu Buhari

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is considering endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) for second term ahead of the 2019 general election Business Hallmark has learnt.

The party believes that the level playing field the president provided during the recently concluded governorship election in Anambra State proves he is a sincere and patriotic leader.

Reliable sources within the party who spoke to our reporters on the condition of anonymity because according to them, they have not been permitted to speak on the issue, said the Governor Willie Obiano led party which fortnight ago on November 18, retained power in the state, has been weighing its options for 2019, but has now largely decided in favour of endorsing Buhari.

The party’s decision in this regard, the sources said, was informed on it not having the national reach and the necessary resources to be able to field a presidential candidate of its own and Buhari being the most viable alternative in view of the issues of local politics in Anambra.

“As you know, APGA does not have the national reach to prosecute presidential election successfully,” a source said. “And yes, we are happy with the way Buhari handled Anambra election. So, endorsing him would not be a bad idea.”

Since its formation in 2003, the only time APGA fielded a presidential candidate was in that year’s presidential election when it had the late Biafra leader, Chief Emeka Ojukwu as its candidate. Ojukwu would eventually come third in the election with 3.3 percent of the total votes cast, behind the eventual winner and then president, Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Muhammadu Buhari of the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) who came second.

From that period onwards, the party had consistently endorsed a candidate of the PDP for president, a decision many say had been strategic in ensuring that the party is allowed to retain Anambra.

In 2011, then APGA governor of Anambra, Mr. Peter Obi gave an unwavering support to Goodluck Jonathan in that year’s presidential election, which meant that in 2013 when the state held its governorship election, Jonathan and the PDP largely worked against the party’s candidate, Dr Tony Nwoye and instead supported the APGA candidate, now governor, Obiano.

Later in 2015, APGA largely endorsed the PDP presidential candidate, Jonathan who by the way, was very popular in Anambra and indeed the South East.

Jonathan eventually lost in 2015 as Buhari and the APC took power. To make matters worse, Obi who had fallen out with Governor Obiano had joined the PDP which meant that Obiano conversely largely switched allegiance to Buhari.

Upon the declaration of Buhari as winner of the presidential election in 2015, Obiano led a large delegation of state officials to congratulate him and promise to work with him.

“Obiano has a lot of respect for Buhari,” another party source said. “That is given. As for endorsement, I cannot say categorically for now, but it is likely.”

READ  NDLEA Intercepts drugs meant for Boko Haram in Adamawa

Many Nigerians were amused few months ago when Obiano visited the Presidential Villa and had to remove his cap in an excessive show of respect and loyalty to President Buhari. The governor did win himself more than a few critics for his actions, but it would matter little to him.

In the run up to the recently concluded governorship election in Anambra in which the governor won a second term, Obi had aggressively worked to ensure that the he was eased out of office, renewing what has been a long standing rift between the two.

Now a member of the PDP, the former governor fronted candidate Oseloka Obaze, promising to do whatever he could to ensure that the PDP won.

As it turned out, Obiano was able to retain power. And while Obi’s actions may have served to create further animosity, not just between him and Obiano, but between the PDP and APGA, the relationship between the latter and the Buhari led APC federal government appears to be improving.

Various chieftains of APGA have taken time to commend the president over his handling of the polls and he has equally reciprocated by congratulating Obiano and APGA for their success.

Last week, APGA’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye in an interview with journalists in Awka, attributed the successful conduct of the election to the his (Buhari’s) quest to build enduring institutions.

He noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not have recorded such improved performance if not for the free hand given to it by him.

“I must commend the Police, Army, NSCDC and other security agencies for the role they played in the conduct of the election,’’ he said.

“Even Obiano should not take glory for last Saturday’s election victory because the two major determinants of who wins or loses an electoral contest are INEC and the security agencies if they are allowed to do their jobs freely.”

Also speaking to TVC news in Awka, former chairman of the party and the Director General of the Obiano campaign organisation, Victor Umeh, thanked Buhari for APGA’s victory, noting that the free and fair electoral process could be attributed to the president who he said, allowed democracy to take its course without interfering in the process.

Similarly, Reverend Austin Ehiemere, the Abia State chairman of the party told Business Hallmark that the President deserved praise for providing level playing field for all candidates.

“Before this time, I had congratulated the federal government under the leadership of President Buhari for providing level playing field for all parties. He has shown that he really wants to correct the errors of the past,” he said.

“I also appreciate the security forces, they displayed professionalism and dispelled fears of them collaborating with INEC and electoral robbers to rig election.

“I equally appreciate INEC for remaining an unbiased umpire throughout the process. With the way they conducted the Anambra election, they have restored the hope of the masses in the electoral process.”

Asked however, whether he could confirm the plans by APGA to endorse Buhari, he denied awareness, insisting that he had not been given the permission to speak on the matter.

READ  Ramaphosa unveils new dawn agenda in first speech

“I’m not aware of this, and I have not been authorised to make any comment in that regard,” he noted.

Toeing similar line, a chieftain of the party and former governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Bob Okechukwu Okoroji said it was untrue that APGA had plans to endorse Buhari.

He maintained that the party had decided in favour of fielding a presidential candidate in 2019 and would no longer play second fiddle to anyone.

“It is not possible because the leadership of the party has decided that it has to present a candidate for the next election in 2019. APGA is going to present a presidential candidate, we are not going to play second fiddle to anybody. I am saying this authoritatively,” said.

Okoroji described Obiano’s victory as a victory for Ndigbo and for democracy, while observing that APGA’s membership is fast growing.

“It’s a victory for democracy; it is a victory for Ndigbo, and for Anambra people. It is a victory for those who have in the past been marginalised and left without a voice; it is a victory for the South East because APGA is going to take over the South East in the next election, that I can tell you.

“Already, signals are coming from Imo, from Abia and Ebonyi; from even the South South. APGA is the only party without blemish and people are joining in droves; people are defecting from APC, PDP in Imo and Abia to join the party. In fact, some former members of the National Assembly have joined because they have come to the realisation that neither APC nor PDP has what it takes.

“APC is becoming steadily unpopular and PDP is hemorrhaging, in fact it is almost a dead party,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, President Buhari had commended the people of Anambra State, the governorship candidates, INEC, election observers as well as security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the November 18 election in the state.

He noted that the peaceful conduct of the election was indicative of the face that electoral reforms being embarked upon by his government is working.

“The processes leading to the election and its peaceful conduct and outcome, have shown that our electoral reform is bearing positive fruits. This is very encouraging and I am determined to give Nigeria free and fair elections, no matter which way the results swing,” he said.

Buhari further expressed happiness with the conduct of the candidates’ post-election results, describing it as “heart-warming and a renewal of confidence in the sanctity of the ballot which deepens our nation’s democracy.”

He however, urged INEC to improve on areas of logistics as the nation braces for coming governorship elections and the main general elections in 2019.

Congratulating Governor Obiano on his victory, the president urged him to rededicate himself to building on his achievements that endeared him to the people and made them vote massively for him.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • It would be utterly irrational for Nigerians to vote for Buhari again- Junaid Mohammed

    Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed has noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has performed poorly in office and it would be irrational for Nigerians to vote for him in 2019. Dr Mohammed who made the assertion in an interview with Vanguard on Saturday, also criticized Buhari for being a poor reader who according to him, […]

  • Bayelsa tour: Obasanjo lays foundation for refinery

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo continued his visit to Bayelsa State after inaugurating some projects of the state government on Friday. The former president continued his tour of the state on Saturday with the laying of the foundation for the establishment of Azikel Refinery. The refinery is owned by Dr Eruani Godbless, a prominent businessman and […]

  • Quite notice, hate speeches and President Buhari’s Northenisation/Islamisation agenda by Professor Ben Nwabueze

    Quite notice, hate speeches and President Buhari’s Northenisation/Islamisation agenda by Professor Ben Nwabueze NATURE OF HATE SPEECHES In the aftermath of the divisions in the country caused by President Buhari’s Northernisation/Islamisation Agenda, as manifested in his lopsided strategic appointments that unfairly favour the North as against the South, and the complete exclusion of the South-East […]

  • Chief Adeniyi to Tinubu: Withdraw your support for Buhari or risk losing influence in Yoruba land

    OBINNA EZUGWU Veteran columnist and elder statesman, Chief Adetola Adeniyi has warned former Lagos governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu against supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid, as according to him, such could mark the beginning of the end of his influence in Yoruba land. Chief Adeniyi who led the Global Intelligentsia for Buhari, a […]

  • Killings: Buhari condemns action, sends Defence Minister to Zamfara

    President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly condemned Thursday’s massacre of innocent persons in Birane village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The President stated this in a statement issued on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, following the death of at least 18 persons as a result of […]

  • Obasanjo visits Jonathan at Bayelsa residence

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday visited former President Goodluck Jonathan at his home in Bayelsa State. Dr Jonathan welcomed the elder statesman who was in his home for a private dinner, in company with his wife, Patience. Earlier before the visit, former President Obasanjo inaugurated a government specialist hospital in the state and unveiled […]

  • NNPC dispatches 29.058m litres of PMS to 13 states

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it supplied a total of 29.058 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to thirteen Northern states in three days. In its report on daily dispatch to filling stations made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, it named […]

  • Lagos will bring about world class childhood disability intervention-Joyce Onofowokan

    An area in which different levels of governments in Nigeria have remained loudly silent and painfully indifferent is childhood disability. Children with disabilities and their parents have over the years ridden on waves of disillusion, despair, and decay. They constitute a tribe of the silent minority that the society has conveniently allowed to disappear into […]

  • Ports now more efficient with FG’s reform – Izuwah

    The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said that Nigerian ports were now witnessing more efficiency following the reforms of the Fedearl Government. Mr Chidi Izuwah, Acting Director-General of the commission said this during an inspection tour of facilities of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) in Rivers state. The acting DG said that the policy […]

  • Power: Nigeria gets $486m W/Bank credit

    World Bank has approved a 486 million dollars credit facility to Nigeria for electricity grid improvements, the lender said on Friday. “The investments under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project will increase the power transfer capacity of the transmission network and enable distribution companies to supply consumers with additional power,” the World Bank said. Nigeria’s  power […]

  • Army places N3m bounty on Boko Haram leader

    The Nigerian Army has announced a cash reward of N3million for information on Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. “The Nigerian Army will give out Three Million Naira (N3,000,000.00) cash reward for any credible information that leads to the arrest of Abubakar Shekau, the fugitive factional Boko Haram terrorists’ group leader,” a statement by the Director, […]

  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn resigns

    Hailemariam Desalegn, A day after President Jacob Zuma resigned as South African President, Ethio­pian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, Thursday announced his resignation in a televised broadcast amid political turmoil in Africa’s fastest-growing economy. The announcement came just after the government released hundreds of political prisoners, including some of the most prominent opposition members in the country, […]

  • FRSC officials donate blood to accident victims in Osun

    The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Officers, Ilesa Unit, has donated blood to improve health delivery schemes as well as to save accident victims. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Samuel Oyedeji, the Ilesa Unit Commander Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said on Wednesday, that the blood donation programme was organised to mark 30th Anniversary of […]

  • Zuma’s exit ushers in new South African President

    South Africa prepared to welcome wealthy former businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its new president Thursday after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under intense pressure from his own party. Zuma announced he had stepped down in a late-night television address in which he took some digs at the African National Congress (ANC) party that had threatened to […]

  • Zuma resigns

    Jacob Zuma has finally bowed to pressure and stepped down from office as South African President The embattled president made the announcement in a broadcast to the nation on Wednesday evening, noting that he has stepped down “with immediate effect.” Zuma has been under pressure to step aside following allegations of corruption. On Tuesday, he […]

  • DPR fines oil marketer N1.2bn for petrol diversion

    The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), said it fined one oil marketing company, A.Y. Maikifi, based in Kano, the sum of N1.2 billion for diverting 115 truckloads of the products Mr. Mohammed Saidu, Head, Public Affairs Unit, DPR Abuja Zone, disclosed this in Abuja, on Wednesday while addressing newsmen. He said that about 162 truckloads […]