By George Onmonya Daniel
It just slightly one and a half years since he was sworn in as the the president of Nigeria but his colleagues are already eyeing his seat. Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, may not have come out openly to declare his intention for 2019 presidential race, of course it is too early and would be power mongering to do so, but President Muhammadu Buhari’s supporters worry anytime Mr. Atiku Abubakar makes news. A keen observer of Nigeria and Nigerian politics would easily notice that post-Buhari regime is already being discussed after politicians notice that President Buhari isn’t doing well as the driver of the Nigerian nation and hasn’t shown much sign that he is capable of doing something remarkable.
President Buhari’s popularity has continued to dwindle due to the economic recession that is biting hard. Even in his stronghold Northern Nigeria where he had always had support of his people, the recession is beginning to tell and the people are beginning to talk of ‘change’ but not the ‘change’ slogan of the All Progressive Congress (APC), President Buhari’s political party,but the change from the way things are going on right now.
It was the pressure and complain of the masses from the North that pushed the first lady, Aisha Buhari, into granting that controversial and damning interview with the BBC Hausa reporter, where in an attempt to exonerate her husband of all blames and to push the blames of the impending failure on others, said her husband did not know 45 of the 50 people he appointed to work for him. Mrs. Buhari blamed some cabal which she said have no voters card to buttress that they didn’t participate in the process that brought her husband to power but have now hijacked the presidency deciding what happens and what does not happen. When asked who were the people who have hijacked power and make decisions for the president, Mrs. Buhari told the reporter that he knows.
There has been rumours that Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, and his coterie of friends are the people she was referring to as there was already small talks here and there, even in the media, that Mamman Daura was the man running things. What came out of the whole drama that led the president to tell the world, in front of the German Chancellor, that his wife belongs to his bedroom and the other room, is a sign that there is problem in Aso Rock paradise.
Since taking power from the PDP, the APC have been divided between those in support of President Buhari and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. However, the big one is the fallout between President Buhari and the Bola Ahmed Tinubu camp. Recently there was a large protest in Lagos with Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu supporters decrying the way and manner in which their leaders is being treated by President Buhari. I haven’t heard that Mr. Tinubu has publicly denounce the protest which shows that he supported it.
Recently, there is report that the Adamawa State governor, Bindow, has endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for 2019. There must be something we don’t know as Governor Bindow is very close to the first lady, Mrs. Buhari. It is either there is story that President Buhari would not be contesting in 2019 0r there is something we still need to find out. Governor Bindow has come out to deny that he didn’t say that or rather was misquoted.
The fact is that President Muhammadu Buhari has lost the respect and fear he instills before the election after one year in office and it is beginning to be clear that he is not the messiah that Nigerians are looking for. Even the politicians who once panic when they hear his name don’t take him much serious anymore.
Talking to Premium Times, Atiku Abubakar is doing a personal public relations stunt for himself, telling anyone who wants to listen that he is not corrupt. A lot of people see this attention seeking and scheme for 2019.
Others who have been rumoured to be interested in President Buhari’s job are Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former Kano State governor, and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former Speaker of the National Assembly and now Governor of Sokoto State.