By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Proponents for a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari in All Progressives Congress, APC, are warning that re-electing the President for a second term remained the surest way of ensuring geopolitical stability in the polity.
The proponents, Vanguard learned, are also pushing for a second term for Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as National Chairman of the party as a way of avoiding crisis within the party.
Those involved in the project to return the President warned that failing to return him to power could open the way for another Northerner to get the office and delay the return of the Presidency to the South in 2023.
The danger, Vanguard learned, is also compounded by the prospects of other party leaders, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, throwing their hats in the ring in the event Buhari does not contest.
One of the governors now pushing for Buhari in a chat, stressed that Buhari’s failure to contest or failure to win re-election could open a crisis that is best avoided.
While admitting challenges that the administration has faced, he, however, cautioned that the crisis would emerge from electing another Northerner or a Southerner in 2019.
“If Buhari does not run, you know what will happen? Another person from the North could run and ask for two terms meaning that the presidency would not return to the South until sometime after 2027,” the governor, who has already indicated his support for the president’s second term, said.
“That will lead to another round of instability that this country does not require at this time,” the governor said in an off the record chat.
While noting the crisis of confidence facing the administration, he, nevertheless, traced the problems to certain officials around the president as he insisted that the president had very good intentions for the country.
He particularly blamed the delay in appointment of APC members into boards and the geopolitical distortion in appointments to the lack of capacity with the aides, saying the president is finally getting to grip with the ineffectiveness of some of his key aides.
He, however, warned that the instability that could arise from failing to re-elect the president would throw up an instability that would see the North extending its stretch on the presidency beyond 2023 if another Northerner is elected or the North feeling cheated if a Southerner is elected.
Vanguard learned that one of those waiting in the wings to contest is party leader, Tinubu, who the governor said would throw his hat into the ring if Buhari fails to contest.
…Push Odigie-Oyegun for 2nd term as APC nat’l chair
Meanwhile, the canvassers of a second term for Buhari are positioning Odigie-Oyegun for a second term as national chairman despite reservations by some leading party chieftains, including Buhari and Tinubu.
Odigie-Oyegun was initially backed by Tinubu over Chief Tom Ikimi in 2014 for the office of national chairman. He, however, had a public falling out with Tinubu over issues related to the party’s governorship primary elections in Ondo State in 2016.
Buhari also had issues with Odigie-Oyegun arising from their days together in the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and reportedly only supported his bid for the national chairmanship after persuasions by Tinubu.
Vanguard has learned that while President Buhari remains non-committal in his support for a second term for Odigie-Oyegun despite the latter’s vociferous chorus for a Buhari second term, Tinubu is, however, said to be vehemently against a second term for the national chairman.
Those anchoring Buhari’s second term, it was learned are, however, pushing that giving a second term for Odigie-Oyegun would be in the best interest of the party and the president.
“If you push another candidate it would have to be a Tinubu man, and there are many people who are against it, and that could lead to a kind of civil war within the party that is best avoided at this time,” the source said.