Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 28 October 2018 | 1,916 times
Ahead of the 2019 presidential election, strong indications have emerged that the north-eastern states of Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba may vote against continuation of President Muhammadu Buhari, who I seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
A signal to that effect was publicly given by one of the frontline politicians and chieftains of APC from the zone, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe East), in Abuja on Saturday night where he declared that massive rigging may not save Buhari from the imminent defeat as realities on ground show that Nigerians are worse off under him within the last three and half years than they were, throughout the 16 years of governance under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from May 1999- May 2015.
The three-term serving senator and former governor of Yobe State dropped the bombshell against his party and Buhari’s candidature during the worldwide Internet Launch of his book ‘Poorlitics’ and 70th Birthday Celebration held at the Auditorium of Barcelona Hotel, Wuse 11, Abuja.
Senator Bukkar Ibrahim, whose wife Khadijat Ibrahim currently serves as Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, in a 17-paragraph written speech delivered at the occasion said the North East should not be taken for granted since it is not a must for it to support Buhari from the North West as both zones only came together for the first time under one political umbrella in 2015 since several decades of party formations and democratic governance in the country from 1950s till date.
His words: “In fact, the politics of the North East has always been different from the politics of the North West and it was under APC that we all united for the first time.
“As we move towards the elections, I have to give a dire warning to the APC that things are no longer the way they were in 2015 when we rode to power on a cloud of euphoria believing that things will change for better.
“Simply put, things have not changed and many things are getting worse and the people are bitter. We should not assume that we can win even with massive rigging.
“The economy has gone down because of our action and inaction and we are blaming the past too much rather than solving the present problems.
“I am going to give a dire warning. Let the North East not be taken for granted that we must support APC.
“Our interest in the North East has always been progressive and I will personally be watching for required improvements in the APC before the elections.
“Improvements that can guarantee victory such as respecting the rule of law and releasing political prisoners as well as unselective war against corruption as against one-sided witch hunt.”
Senator Ibrahim declared that if APC under Buhari did not get its bearings in terms of good governance before the 2019 general elections, the North East will have no any other option than to vote for candidate of another political parties, one of whom is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a prominent citizen of the zone from Adamawa State who is the standard bearer of the PDP in the coming election.
“I shall sit back and continue encouraging my party do the right thing. But if we don’t, I still reserve the capacity to ask my people to go our separate ways and do what must be done for good governance to reign in Nigeria,” he warned.
He had earlier in the speech in setting the grounds for the direction the north-eastern part of the country may take in the coming 2019 general elections by opening the old wounds between the zone and the North West, saying: “At my age, I have no reason to lie being a socialist progressive over the years as against capitalist conservatives that dominate the other zone.”
According to him, the geographical zone called North East today was on the same page with the progressives politics played by the late Aminu Kano of NEPU, Obafemi Awolowo of the defunct Action Group (AG) and Nnamdi Azikiwe of the defunct NCNC as against capitalistic and conservative ideology of the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) led by the late Sir Ahnadu Bello and seen as aggressive and ruthless to north-eastern and Middle Belt people generally.
He added that his book, ‘Poorlitics’, co-authored by Mr Sam Agha Egwu, aims towards discouraging money politics in the polity and promoting people-centered politics as he did in Yobe State where he contested for governorship position in 1991 with just N20,000.00 in his bank account and yet with massive support of the people, defeated the money bags and their godfathers.
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