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Presidency Reacts To Alleged North’s Gang-up Against Tinubu



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There have been surreptitious moves by some political figures working on possible alignments ahead of the 2027 Presidential election to scuttle possible second term ambition of President Bola Tinubu.

Some politicians, especially those that lost out during the election and the appointments that followed, have somehow been trying to position themselves to be relevant ahead of the next elections.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, a foremost and formidable opposition figure in the country, has obviously not relented in pursuing his Presidential ambition and he has been raising his game with a view to running for the position of the President in 2027.

Though the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has yet to openly declare his Presidential ambition, there are indications that he may have commenced consultations ahead of the polls judging from his meetings with political stakeholders across the country with a view to forging a new political platform with the capacity to give the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) a run for its money by 2027.

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Only recently, some Northern political figures, including a former governor of Sokoto State and a serving Senator, Aminu Tambuwal, led by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, paid a Sallah visit on the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari, in his Daura country home in Katsina State.

Responding to the development, a source in the Presidency, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “It’s not a political sacrilege for politicians to align and realign to strategise for political power. It has always been like that in this country. They are free to do so.

“But the President is unperturbed. It is too early on his four-year tenure to be dragged into 2027 politics. The President is currently focused on delivering on his electoral promises and making life better for Nigerians irrespective of their political affiliations.”

Another source said: “To an average politician in Nigeria, preparation for the 2027 election started immediately after that of 2023 was won and lost. However, Tinubu’s second term will be determined by his performance at the end of this tenure. I’m sure that he won’t have to campaign too hard because his performance will do that for him.

“Already, the nation’s security has begun to take shape; the security forces are working hard to restore peace in the country and the nation’s economy has started to improve owing to the policies introduced by the President.
“I’m convinced that in the next two to three years, Nigerians will feel the positive impacts of government policies as the economy is on the trajectory of revival.”

Another source added: “Let’s wait till then. If someone could win a Presidential election without overt support from the incumbent and staunch party leaders, how much more when he is now in power?”

“Recall that some powerful figures never supported the President at the 2023 polls; but Asiwaju deployed his political capital, having built a formidable goodwill across the country to win that election. Let them gather; they’ll eventually scatter,” he concluded.

They are seeking alliance -Prof Muhammad-Baba

Speaking on the development, the Spokesman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Prof Tukur Muhammad-Baba, told Saturday Telegraph that the meeting in Daura was not just Sallah homage, but political alliances for 2027 elections.

He said: “I don’t think it was a normal Sallah greeting, it is political in the sense that they are seeking re-alliances. This is because all those who visited were those either in the opposition or those people with what you can call lifetime ambition like in the case of Atiku and el-Rufai.

“Someone who was in the centre of things, all of a sudden, you find yourself without a hope, now under the bus, especially by people you think have helped to come to power and then you are out of the power equation.

“With people like that, power becomes like an addiction, they feel like fish out of water when they are not in power. So, they will look for alliances and so on. El-Rufai has been known for alliances and counter alliances.

“He is with you today, he is against you tomorrow; it’s in line with his usual character. What I am surprised about is that of all former leaders, they will choose to rally around Buhari. Let’s face it; Buhari’s electoral value is very low.

“It is not anything compared to 2015. Even if you go back to 2019, the value is not there, age is not on his side.”

The ACF Spokesman, who said he was speaking in his personal capacity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, noted: “They are just exploring possibilities for future electoral engagement, with an eye on 2027.

“Perhaps they think that they can enact the scenario of 2015, when an incumbent president was defeated. Whether it can happen this time around, we do not know, but it is doubtful. It’s doubtful because we do not have a cohesive class in the opposition. They all have their interest.

“Even Peter Obi is coming into the mix, the role he will play, we don’t know, but it will be difficult to see him teaming up as second in command to Atiku, who appears not ready to give up, which is okay. We should not lose sleep, let us wait and see.”

The issues driving the plot

In January, many Northern interest groups, Senators and even youths rose up sternly against the relocation of FAAN and the CBN key departments to Lagos.

The fact that the organisations cited high cost as part of the reason for the relocations was not enough. One of the groups, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, condemned the relocation and called on the government agencies to revise it.

Their position was not different from that of the Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders.

In March this year, Northern Senators under the aegis of Northern Senators’ Forum, lamented the current hardship in the country and declared that things were going worse since President Bola Tinubu took over on May 29, last year.

The Chairman of the NSF, Senator Abdul Ningi, a People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Senator from Bauchi Central Senatorial District, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) Hausa Service, said the Northern senators have hired consultants to scrutinise the 2024 national budget, which he alleged was padded by about N3 trillion by the executive arm of government.

He said President Bola Tinubu didn’t even understand this country and he didn’t understand the difficulties of ruling a country like Nigeria. He hinted that the North was being marginalised, saying the Northern Senators were not happy.

“We are to meet the president. We will talk to him about the Mambilla power project, Ajaokuta and the River Niger dredging. We will talk to him about the Niger Republic. Recently, they said they will construct a dam, this is not good for us,” he said.

Before going to Katsina where Atiku met with Buhari, he was in Minna where he visited former Nigerian military leaders, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Atiku had also met with Peter Obi, and some other opposition figures in his quest to galvanise the opposition against APC.

He has even accused the opposition political parties of failing to come together as one, saying it is only through a coalition that victory against APC can be achieved. However, with 2027 still far away, only time will tell.

The visit

During the visit in Daura, Atiku was in company of Aminu Tambuwal and some leaders of the PDP.

In a message on his Facebook page, the Presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election wrote, “Accompanied by some stakeholders of our great party, the PDP, we visited the Daura residence of former President Muhammadu Buhari to pay a courtesy call and offer Sallah homage.”

The Daura visit was also after Atiku met with former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida and ex-Military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, in Minna.

Atiku and Buhari had gone head to head in the Presidential election with the former Vice president on the platform of the PDP, and Buhari on the platform of the APC, but lost.

However, during a recent interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America, Atiku disclosed that he would still contest future presidential elections.

Shehu Sani’s intervention
First to raise the issue was Senator Shehu Sani, who said the attempt to whip up Northern sentiments to achieve political ends is a dangerous political experiment and expedition at this material time.

Sani, who reacted immediately the leaders went to visit Buhari, noted that the visits by some prominent Northern politicians to Daura “appears to be the usual Eid homage, but looking deeper and beyond the façade it’s surreptitiously a new attempt to build a strong Northern alliance using ex-President Buhari as a rallying point to challenge and evict President Tinubu’s Government in 2027.”

He however said it was a project that will eventually kiss the dust, saying: “They want to resurrect Buhari’s political charm, fanaticism and mobilise the gullible to another hollow and bewildering end.

“They want to stoke up and light up the Arewa sentiment without considering the inferno it would eventually generate. This is the same Buhari that led Nigeria for eight years and left the North worse than he met it. It’s too early to forget.

“By the time he left power, poverty and insecurity was at its peak than at any time in Nigeria’s history. They had power and wasted it; what do they want to do with it again? He asked rhetorically.

Sani said a Southerner is in power just for one year and it is too early for the “desperate and power hungry Northern elite to start plotting.

“The South never did that to Buhari. Their intended action has the capacity of ruining the democratic process and wrecking the fragile unity of the country when the South is awakened to this reality.

“Their obsession with power is condemnable. Opposition to Tinubu from the point of policies, promises and programmes of his administration is a democratic right of any Nigerian.

“People have the right to speak and criticise the government. But attempts to whip up Northern sentiments to achieve their political ends are a dangerous political experiment and expedition at this material time.

“No serious Southerner challenged Buhari for eight years; these power drunk Northern politicians are dragging the region into a new political journey through a land mine,” he had said.

According to him, the Daura homage of the “disgruntled and the obsessed will fail. Our people in the North should reject these faces and their plots. They have nothing to offer. From the abandoned Baro Port, Ajaokuta, Lake Chad basin refilling and Mambilla hydro power, they failed.

“They came to power when the North was in the hands of terrorists and left it in the joint hands of terrorists and bandits. The Northern Talakawa should reject their antics.”

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