PDP Candidates in Northern Nigeria campaigning for Buhari, says BMO
By Omeiza Ajayi and Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The Buhari Media Organisation BMO has hailed what it described as the “legendary integrity” of President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosing that even candidates of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Northern Nigeria are now canvassing for the reelection of the president who is of the All Progressives Congress APC.
From left: Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Gov Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, Gov David Umahi of Ebonyi State Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and President Muhammadu Buhari during the visit of South East Leaders to the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday (21/11/2018)
This was as the group alleged that the Deputy President of the Senate, Like Ekweremadu as well as PDP governors in the south east have now also aligned with the president.
The pro-Buhari advocacy group wondered why it is increasingly difficult for the PDP candidates to identify with their presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
BMO in a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke noted that a sign of the President’s wide acceptability is the fact that PDP governorship and National Assembly candidates in several parts of the country are running their campaign with posters bearing his image.
“It is a known fact that there is no living politician with the cult-like followership and support Buhari has in some parts of the country as a result of his legendary integrity, so it is not a surprise that several PDP candidates in Northern Nigeria have been openly canvassing for the President’s re-election.
“The question begging for answer is: why are these candidates not campaigning for Atiku Abubakar or put his image on their campaign posters?”
The organization also described President Buhari’s meeting with the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun alongside the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition Allied Peoples Movement APM, Adekunle Akinlade, as a positive development, saying it was not necessarily a sign of President Buhari’s endorsement of the APM candidate.
This, it said, is especially as he had before now raised the hand of the APC candidate Dapo Abiodun as his preferred candidate during a recent visit alongside former Ogun State Governor, Olusegun Osoba.
“We are aware of some disquiet among APC members on seeing the picture of the President with Governor Amosun and the APM candidate on the front page of national dailies after the weekend meeting at the Presidential villa.
“But just as the Presidency has made it clear that the President would only back APC candidates, we don’t see the meeting as a contradiction of the stance.
“It in fact shows the acceptability that President Buhari enjoys across party lines as opposed to the recent stage-managed endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP Atiku Abubakar by insignificant political parties and politicians with no real electoral value”, the group said.
The pro-Buhari group pointed out that the trend of support for President Buhari among PDP leaders began a few weeks ago with the visit by governors elected on the platform of the opposition party in the South East geo-political zone and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
“Although the meeting was meant to be one where the governors were to show appreciation for federal government projects in the region, especially the contract award for the second Niger Bridge, it came at a time the political figures were at odds with their parties.
“On individual basis, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, has publicly left no one in doubt about his positive relations with the President whom he has hailed on several occasions for the infrastructural strides in the region, and of late his Enugu counterpart Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had been pictured wearing a lapel pin with President Buhari’s image
“What is now left is for the governors and Senator Ekweremadu to be pictured with the viral 4 + 4 hand sign.”
But the PDP challenged the Buhari Media Organisation, BMO, to name its candidates in the north working secretly for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election.
The party also tasked BMO to name the South-East governors it claimed, were hobnobbing with the President ahead of the 2019 polls or keep its peace.
In a chat with our correspondent, Tuesday, Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP dismissed both claims by BMO, describing same as “a figment of their imagination.
He said: “We challenge them to name that PDP candidate in the North who is using President Buhari to campaign. He (the President) should name the PDP candidate in his Katsina state who is using his name to campaign.
“There is nothing like South-East governors working for Buhari. We also challenge them to name the South-East governor (s) of the PDP that has mounted a soap-box to say don’t vote for Atiku Abubakar. As long as they are not ready to come clear on these, we don’t understand their claims. If they think that the kind of propaganda that brought them to power in 2015 will work in 2019, we make bold to tell them that Nigerians have moved beyond that.”
According to the publicity scribe, “President Muhammadu Buhari has been politically uncovered by Nigerians. The 2019 elections are not the same as those of 2015. In 2015, Nigerians believed the fake integrity that was mouthed all over the place about Buhari.”
He added that in 2019, “Nigerians have seen through the incompetence of President Buhari and that is why the President can no longer go to meet with the people to campaign. And that is why he has handed over the structure of his campaign to Bola Ahmed Tinubu. If he is sure-footed and knows that Nigerians will still accept him the way they did in 2015, he should go round the country and tell them how much delivery he has done about the promises made. But because this administration has failed woefully, in the revival of the economy, the fight against corruption and the war against insurgency, President Buhari cannot return to the people. Instead of focusing on what to do with the rejection by Nigerians, they are going about, laying claim to endorsements that do not exist.