Exclusive: Buhari Will Run in 2019 – Sources

Chidi Samuel   |

Barring any unforeseen development, President Muhammadu Buhari will contest the 2019 Presidential elections, according to a source who has been briefed on the matter.

The elephant in the room against President Buhari’s re-election bid was his health, a development that kept him away from the shores of Nigeria for more than three months but with his miraculous recovery”The Buharists”, a group of some of his fiercest supporters have convinced the President to seek a second term, Alabingo.com has learnt.

The arrowheads of the group, include Mallam Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, Abdull’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Kashim Shetima of Bornu State and the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi.

Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, MKO Abiola\s running mate in the annulled June 12, 1993, Presidential elections, a man our source said is a ”silent fixer” in Aso Rock politics, is believed to be actively involved in the scheme.

The group has already set in motion the machinery to raise the required fund for President Buhari’s re-election bid.

Towards the end of September, our source informed Alabingo.com that the cat was let out of the bag, when a young contractor known within the corridors of power in Abuja visited one of the ministries on a routine contract related meeting but was directed to see an unnamed “a very important official in Abuja“, an unusual development for the well connected young man.

At the meeting, he was told that

”Baba will seek a second term and that people like him will be relied upon to support the re-election efforts of the President since he is not ready to fund the project from the public treasury”.

He was further briefed that the jobs available will be awarded to those willing to commit to the project. Having pledged his support, he was told that he will be contacted in three weeks and exactly three weeks later, he received a call to return to Abuja.

On his return, he informed our source,

“Baba is running, if Jesus tarries, make no mistake about that”.

The subject of President Buhari’s second term bid was kept on the back burner by the ruling All Progressive Congress until recently because of the President’s ill health but ”it was always on the cards”, the source said.

This week alone the Party held its caucus and the long overdue NEC meetings, the second since the Party was elected into power over two years ago, where the President promised party faithful of expanding his cabinet and filling vacancies in government agencies and parastatals. An obvious campaign move!

At the NEC meeting, the party overwhelmingly passed a vote of confidence on President Buhari but sources at the meeting told alabingo.com that some governors pushed for the adoption of the President as the sole candidate of the Party in 2019, however, the idea was gently dropped.

Recently, the President hosted members of the Buhari support group at the Villa, at the end of the meeting, the group’s leader, Abu Ibrahim announced that 189 groups has endorsed Buhari for a second term.

APC’s majority leader in the National Assembly, Ahmed Lawan who attended the meeting of the Buhari support group said that President Buhari had no choice but to contest the 2019 election.

But when contacted on the issue on Friday afternoon, Femi Adesina, the special adviser to President Buhari on media and publicity said he is not aware of the development given that he is not a politician.  Adesina said, ” I am not aware of that”.

He continued, ” I am not a politician and have no intention of being involved in politics, so I can’t comment on that”.

 

 

 

 

Senate approves electronic voting for 2019 elections

The Senate ratified amendments to the Electoral Act 2010 on Thursday, effectively approving the use of electronic voting technologies for the 2019 elections in Nigeria.

The new act will also enable election results to be transmitted via electronic means to collation centers.

The bill passage was based on the senate committee report on the Independent National Electoral Commission on a bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 5, 2010 and other related matters (SB 231 and SB 234).

The new bill made new provisions to enable INEC implement the use of electronic voting during elections, use of card readers, and to modify voting processes if a situation warrants it.

The bill will also empower INEC to encrypt election results electronically prior to transmission to forestall hacking and tampering.

In such an event whereby an election candidate dies before results are declared, the new bill provides that such result shall remain valid and be transferred to the political party that lost the candidate. In such an instance, INEC will suspend elections for 21 days and the political party who lost its candidate will conduct a new primary to select a new candidate.

Senate President Bukola Saraki said that he new bill  is a step in the right direction which will also prevent lapses in the electioneering process in the country.

“Distinguished colleagues, let me thank all of you for this job well done. I want to particularly thank the members of the committee on INEC and particularly the former chairman of the committee, Abubakar Kyari,  Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and all the members of the committee who have worked very hard to ensure the passage of this very important bill which addresses our electoral process and goes on to strengthen our democracy,” Saraki said.

“We have touched on new areas which I believe will improve the credibility of our elections and by so doing, definitely improve our democracy and good governance.

“Most importantly, I think, are some of the new sections we have added, in the area of technology, the smart card reader, and particularly the area of collation which has been an area of great concern.

“Collation of results after the polling units and some of the additions we put on the electronic way by which the compilation of results can be done, I think will go a long way to reduce some of the irregularities we have seen before.

“This is a great work you have been able to put together today and I want to commend everybody. I am also happy that we have passed the amendments very early. My concern has always been that if we don’t do it now, it will get more difficult as we get blown to the 2019 elections.

“We hope that with this bill that we have passed, very soon, we will sit together with the house of representatives to be able to get the copy to the president for assent.”