By HENRY AKUBUIRO Ikeogu Oke has been announced the winner of the 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature. The author of the poetry book, Heresiad, beat stiff competition from Prof Tanure Ojaide, the author of Songs of Myself: Quartet,and Ogaga Ifowodo, the author of A Good Mourning. Announcing Oke the winner on Monday, October 9, in…
By Ismail Omipidan
Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna central senatorial district on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said political elites who are already mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term are doing so for selfish political gains.
Without Buhari running in 2019, he noted, the political elites, most of whom are serving APC governors, who, like Buhari, are also serving their first terms, would lose political relevance which may signal their political demise.
Following the revelation by the Women Affairs Minister, Hajia Aisha Alhassan, that she won’t be supporting Buhari for the presidential race in 2019, should he decide to run, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who was the first governor to visit the Presidential Villa after the outburst, told Nigerians that they would do everything within their means to ensure Buhari runs again. He told journalists at the villa that, “we have a group. We have Buharists amongst governors and ministers. Our group wants to ensure that President Buhari runs in 2019. Our political ideology is to support whatever President Buhari wants to support. If he chooses not to run, he will tell us which direction to go.
“We are Buharists, we don’t have any personal ambition, we don’t have any personal aspiration and we are waiting for him to decide. And we are making every political effort and creating every structure to achieve this.”
But in an apparent reference to that position, Sani, in his usual characteristic manner, took to his Facebook page yesterday, to lampoon those putting pressure on Buhari to run. He said the decision to run or not, lies solely with Buhari, stressing that the president has been in politics long enough to take that decision.
Sani said the ordinary Nigerians, who want Buhari to run again in 2019, are doing so out of genuine love and desire for the president to lead them to the promised land. He said although the country still needs the president’s service, it is, however, up to the president to decide, if he is “willing and fit” to continue beyond 2019.
“Whether Baba (Buhari) will seek reelection or not remains his individual decision to make.
He is old enough and has been in politics and government longer than anyone in his party or cabinet as to know what to do and the right time to do it.
“He is in best position to decide what he wants. The nation still needs his services, but it’s still up to him to decide if he is willing and fit to provide more or not. The political elite, in their habit, are pressure cookers and they see Baba (Buhari) as a meal and a mill.
“Baba (Buhari) is like a good driver who has driven for a long distance and so much cherished by his passengers; whether he is willing to cover more distance is best decided by him. Every leader chooses his seat and space in the ship of his and his country’s history. The reasons the masses want Baba (Buhari) to continue is not the same as the reason the elites want him to seek reelection. The former see him as a good force who should continue to lead them to the land of their dreams or the promised land; the latter see him as the lifebuoy for their political survival and relevance,” Sani declared.