It is good that the tribe of those expected to challenge the ruling party’s presidential hopeful, President Muhammadu Buhari, is increasing by the day.
The 2019 general election will be different from all others in a number of ways. Nigerians are more politically aware now than they were in 2015. Nigerians have seen the politicians in their good and bad elements. Nigerians are therefore wiser now than before. They are getting their voters card ready for the epic battle come 2019.
Nigerians can no longer be deceived by the antics of self-serving politicians who use religion and ethnicity to divide them. They will vote wisely this time around. The 2019 presidential poll will be tough. It will not be as rosy as some people are thinking in certain quarters.
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The race to the 2019 presidential poll is becoming more interesting as more Nigerians are indicating interest to vie for the highest position in the land. One of those eyeing the highest job in the country is the former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa. He will run on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His love for the people and the fact that he is a ‘professional’ politician motivated him to declare his intention to contest the election. His sterling performance as two-term governor of Sokoto State is a huge plus for him.
Other notable Nigerians that have made public their decision to vie for the nation’s presidency include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Kaduna State governor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, two former governors of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Ibrahim Shekarau respectively, Prof. Kingsley Muoghalu, ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the present governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
Some female aspirants for the post of the president include Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, Dr. Elishama Ideh, Barrister Eunice Atuejide, Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies and Princess Oyenike Roberts.
It is good that the tribe of those expected to challenge the ruling party’s presidential hopeful, President Muhammadu Buhari, is increasing by the day. The All Progressives Congress’ (APC) cause is not helped by the recent mass defections that rocked it and the way the party’s leadership is managing the crisis.
Even though the leaders of the party have refused to publicly admit it, the defections shook the foundation of the party. At a time there is serious crisis in the ruling party which is even threatening its prospects in the 2019 presidential poll, we need politicians like Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa to step in and change the narrative.
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We need experienced politicians and those with national outlook to be more assertive on the political stage. We need people who can change the status quo and rescue Nigeria from the APC ineptitude and unfulfilled promises three years after it assumed the mantle of the nation’s leadership. In fact, anybody who can solve the leadership challenge in Nigeria now should be supported and encouraged by the electorate. It does not really matter the political platform of the candidate. What matters most is the credibility of the candidate, his message and performance ability.
There is no doubt that the former governor of Sokoto State is nationalistic and fits the bill. Many commentators have attested to such credentials. Besides, he is a bridge builder and relates easily with people across ethnic and religious divides. In other words, he is a detribalized Nigerian. Bafarawa was the governor of Sokoto State from 1999 to 2007, during which period he embarked on many infrastructural projects that endeared him to the people of the state.
Since the indication of his interest to run for the plum job, he has engaged in a wide consultation with some stakeholders and statesmen. He has visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as ex-military ruler, Gen, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to solicit their prayers and support. The consultation is still ongoing. He particularly went to Obasanjo to seek for his ‘prayers, advice and support.’
During his tenure as governor of Sokoto State, Obasanjo visited the state to commission projects for 14 times. He left billions of naira for the state in 2007 based on advice from the former leader. He modeled his all-inclusive government on the former president’s administrative style. The virtues that highly recommend Bafarawa for the topmost job include humility, diligence selflessness among others. He has lofty vision for the country and speaks glowingly of the nation’s potential greatness if the right leaders are put in charge.
This is not the first time Bafarawa will be nursing a presidential ambition. His first attempt was in 2011 but he later withdrew. His career as a politician started when he won the post of a councilor in 1976. He won election as a delegate to the National Constitutional Conference of 1995-1995. Since then, he has never looked back. His politics has been consistent. He was instrumental to the formation of political parties including the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).
Bafarawa, like many Nigerians, believes that Nigeria should be rescued from the present misgovernance of the APC central government. The nation’s intractable leadership challenge needs saviors and messiahs right now to be addressed. Nigeria needs people that will cleanse the Augean stable and right the wrongs of the past. We need people who share the belief that things are wrong with the country now and willing to offer an alternative.
Nigeria needs credible people who can perform the tasks at hand. We need more actions than mere dreams of greatness. No doubt, Bafarawa stands a good chance in the 2019 presidential contest. He hails from the same North-West as President Buhari and can easily give him a strong challenge in the zone. Both profess the same religion and have cult followership.
Both are credible and have integrity. Good enough, Bafarawa has been cleared of all corruption charges which many knew ab initio, were political witch-hunt. In his judgment on Bafarawa matter, Justice Bello Abbas, dismissed all the 22 counts, which the court found to be mere hearsay.
The judge therefore discharged and acquitted Bafarawa and four others. Therefore, Bafarawa is eminently qualified to vie for the highest post in the land. He has the love and interest of the country at heart. He is a hot contender to the post.