Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

Buhari’s declaration: Now, the die is cast

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Following months of speculations on whether he will seek re-election in 2019 or not, President Buhari on Monday proved bookmakers right when he officially announced his resolve to contest the Presidency.
With this announcement, the political adrenalin of the country has been heightened with alignment and re-alignment expected within the polity. Those aspirants on the platform of the ruling APC would have to weigh their chances as they have the incumbent to contend with at the party’s primary slated for December.
Barring any other unexpected development, whoever chooses to contest with the President for the party’s sole presidential ticket must be willing to engage in a mock-fight. This is because the incumbent will go into the primary with all paraphernalia of office unlike the 2014 primary that was keenly contested.
Those party chieftain, who had declared their intentions to run on the platform of the APC, must be considering a plan B now unless they are not serious with their intention to lead the country come 2019.
It is therefore expected that ambitious party men, who obviously don’t stand any chance against the President at the primary, must now be considering the option of decamping to any of the opposition parties.
This, of course, is expected to deplete the followership of the APC in a way. But with the resolution of the party’s leadership crisis, where they unanimously agreed to hold elective congress for a new executive by June, the extent of cracks expected to hit the APC ahead of the general election will be minimal.
Now that the opposition is aware that Buhari will run despite intimidating warnings from his predecessors, including ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, and other notable voices in the country, the onus of presenting a candidate that could match the President in stature and character now falls on the opposition parties.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yet to lift ban of official campaigns ahead of the 2019 polls.

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