By William Bozimo
IT has been brewing underground and just recently in far- away Abidjan Cote D Voire, he dropped the hint he might contest future elections soon. It is the clearest indication from President Buhari that he would have another shot at the Presidency in 2019.
In his first coming, he moved to Chatam House London to address the world in a major Press conference where he unfolded his plans to contest the Presidenital elections after three unsuccessful attempts.
And in self same manner, during his recent trip to Abidjan where he participated in the African Uion, AU, and European Union, EU summit in Abidjan, he the cat out of the bag that he might soon contest an election, and surely that of 2019 is in the air.
As a determined long distant political runner, the President is entitled to do a second term in 2019. What watchers of the Nigerian polity seem persuaded is after his 104 days medical tourism in London , are members of his party sure he will be fit and proper to do another round of campaigns around the country without doing incalculable damage to his health? If he is satisfied fit for another shot at the presidency, so be it.
The onus is now on the other parties, particularly, the PDP which had promised Nigerians it would rule for 60 years, collapsed into a pitiable defeat during the 2015 election after just sixteen years of being in power at the centre.
Since after President Buhari’s hospitalisation, many are worried if he could withstand the rigours of nationwide campaigns in 2019.
The Fulanis, by their nature and character are long distance trekkers with their hordes of cows and Malus searching for grazing lands for their animals.
This is perhaps, what had instilled in Mr. President the survival instincts to push ahead to complete a second term that he is constitutionally guaranteed to take advantage of.
Coming on the heels of the sudden decampment from the ruling APC by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who joined them in 2013, to the PDP in which he was a Vice President to another military General in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, OBJ, from 1999 to 2003, the dynamics of this decampment speaks volumes of the battle lines being drawn for real.
Can Atiku’s return to the PDP mean a veritable battle for 2019 when two Fulanis will lock horns with each other and produce a balanced rivalry for the two parties?
Some pundits have dubbed the 2019 presidential encounter as a fitting display of equally matched politicians who are like brothers in ‘Muslimity’, so to speak.
Looking back to 2013 when Atiku was at the height of his political brinksmanship, he almost single handedly mobilised over 14 PDP serving governors to want to destroy his former boss, Chief Obasanjo’s second term bid. That was the root cause of the disharmony between former President Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar.
Political star gazers seem persuaded that the OBJ bundle of anger may just be a ruse and could not affect Atiku’s president bid on the platform of the PDP which he had abandoned some four years ago in a dramatic public display where he tore his PDP membership card in Abeokuta.
Some facebook commentstors have described OBJ as a principality of great influence when matters of a new president comes into the open for public discourse .
The magical wand applied by President Buhari was that he succeeded in winning some five serving PDP governors who jumped from the PDP and joined APC and virtually funded the new party with monies from the decamping PDP governors who bankrolled Buhari into power.
How much charisma has Atiku got to move some APC governors and even Senators to his side for this titanic 2019 battle for supremacy between two Fulanis for the most prized job in Nigeria.
As a contender operating from outside the four walls of power, it is not too clear what magic Atiku could apply to carry along serving Senators and even governors to team up with him.
Some reports say even the Adamawa state Governor had said he would not team up with Atiku after he had gone to Aso Villa to pledge his support for Muhammadu Buhari. These two, are interesting characters to watch for 2019.
Atiku’s spectacular trait of not wanting to walk under a former dictator must have prompted him to abandon the APC platform for the PDP where he started off his political career as a Vice President. Most of the former PDP governors who had dined and wined with him in earlier years are closely watching the scenario before jumping out of their closets to fraternise with him.
How much of close relationships had Atiku made with other contenders for the 2019 Presidency like former governor Sule Lamido whose had openly shown his desire to contest the presidential election come 2019? One was once told of a former governor of Kano state Alhaji Shekerau a former contender from the North.
It will be instructive to know if the six PDP governors of the South South have given their blessing to Atiku’s emergence?
With Titi Abubakarbeen first lady from the Western zone of the country, how much of his in laws are ready to join his bandwagon to wrestle power from President Buhari?
It is difficult to place the Yorubas as a people. Would they be ready to trade the vice presidential slot in Prof. Yemi Osibanjo where they have good advantage for an Atiku’s presidency?
The intricacies of the 2019 presidential elections are such that if we considered that an incumbent President was dethroned by a challenger in 2015, can Atiku the new challenger pull the carpet from under Buhari’s feet?
For the northerners, anywhere the victory goes is OK by them. If one Fulani cow herdsman dethrones another Cow Fulani in 2019, nothing spoil. It will be seen as a game of musical chairs for Fulani Presidential contenders.
The next question is who are the likjely vice presidential contenders for Atiku in 2019? Already a self- proclaimed Presidential PDP contender in Ekiti state Ayodele Fayose could make a possible surprise for his outspoken attacks on the APC and President Buhari in the last two years. Or are we likely to see the Rivers state Governor Nyesom Nwike being touted as a vice Presidential contender in recent months a possibility.
It is so fluid these days as more surprises are expected in the coming months in 2018 hoping more decampments could occur to bolster ATIKU’s ambition against the pole- like stature of Muhammdu Buhari of the APC.
The 2019 presidential elections could be guaranteed by the quantum of funding of the elections by majorly incumbent Governors on both sides of the great divide.
If Nigerians want to deepen their democracy, they should root for a bloody civilian who understands the problems of autocracy masquerading as a democrat in 2019.