At the wake of nagging disappointments, coupled with the bleeding economy orchestrated by President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Stakeholders, have commenced frantic search for a possible Northern Presidential material to give their backing, in the 2019 Presidential election.
Post-Nigeria authoritatively gathered that, the Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, and the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, are being backed by some Northern oligarchies, among whom is Junaid Mohammed, to produce the next President of Northern extraction.
Recall, that Buhari had upon his return from his 50-days medical vacation last month, confessed to the fact of his ill-health saying: “I have never been this sick in my life.”
These have thrown up insinuations that Buhari may not survive the 2019 Presidential race, due to his health challenges.
Also, his absence in last Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, and the week before, led to more insinuations of his ill-health, which had began to go away prior to that.
“I can assure you that even though we don’t have any particular candidate in mind as at now, we will intensify the search for a Northern leader, who will empower the North and revive all the moribund industries there, to create jobs for the teeming masses who are now roaming the streets, either as IDPs, or out-of-school children.The President of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Gujungu, on Saturday said: “We have not yet decided on whether it is going to be Buhari or not, but we have to continue to support the aspiration of the North, to produce the next President of Nigeria, so as to balance the loss of power to the South, under the Presidency of President Jonathan, following the sudden demise of Yar’Adua.
“We are currently searching for the candidate of our choice, and if Buhari decides to run, we will present him with our blueprint to implement, but if he rejects it, we will look for another credible Northern candidate to meet our political demands”, Gujungu said.
Speaking in the same vein, the National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Shettima Usman Yerima, said the group was looking for an alternative, upon the failures of the incumbent administration.
“We are disappointed. Nigerians are disappointed. Sincerely speaking, this Buhari administration is a failure. It is a failure, because this is not what Nigerians expected when they were giving him the mandate in 2015.”
The Northern youth leader, also disclosed that there are plans to look for an alternative Presidential candidate from the North-East, to represent the region in the 2019 presidential elections.
He said: “I think we are going to bring a new alternative in 2019. We have to bring a new order to the country, because we cannot afford to have a President who is not in charge of the affairs in the country. This is coupled with the facts that some of us look at his age, and come up with the reservation that it is not a good idea to have a man of his age to be leading a country like Nigeria, with population of about 200 million people. People thought we were undermining him at that time, but we said no, because somebody of Buhari’s age would find it difficult managing his personal affairs, talk less of the affairs of a huge country like ours.”
He said: “We have nothing against President Buhari personally, but we believe somebody of his age should manage fewer burdens.
“When you look at global events, the way things are turning around universally, you will agree with me that we need at the saddle, somebody who is in tune with global reality. We need somebody that would be agile and knowledgeable enough to move round the world with his counterparts across the globe. For now in Nigeria, that is not the case. And I don’t think we are making any headway in that direction.
“The worst thing is that, for government to look for capable hands that can turn around things positively, it ended up picking some individuals that have been out of circulation over a very long time, but who the government is comfortable with. Now, you can see the confusion everywhere. The reality is not all about Buhari as a person. The reality is about nature that is taking a full course on him, coupled with the situation of his health that nobody knows.”
While he declined to disclose names of prospective Northern candidates likely to be presented by the region, he said: “For now, we are going round making consultations, but it will be too early for me to mention names, but we may give a picture of some possible names, after May 29, 2017.
“What we are doing now, is to make consultations across board; we are also reaching out to other ethnic nationalities and personalities. Regarding the likely candidates, it will be too early for me to speak now, because I do not have the mandate to mention their names.”