Mixed reactions, last night, trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid to run for a second term in office as coalition of parties in Kwara State took differing positions on the issue.
Buhari at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Monday stunned the audience when he surprisingly announced he will be re-contesting in 2019 for his second term bid.
On his reason for contesting for a second term in office, the 75-year-old said he was responding to clamour by Nigerians, adding that he wanted to give the NEC members the honour of notifying them first. Before making his intention known, the President gave his speech on the report of the APC National Executive Technical Committee.
Governors and the national leadership of the party were said to have been stunned by President Buhari’s declaration.
Speaking last night on Buhari’s position, the state Chairman of the opposition’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyiola Oyedepo said the President has the constitutional backing to vie for the top position in the country, adding that “it is left for Nigerians to decide whether they want him to continue or not.
But the Chairman of the Kwara State chapter of the Labour Party (LP), Comrade AbdulMumini AbdulKareem Onagun said Buhari should have followed in the footsteps of late South African President, Nelson Mandela by stepping down after a single term.
In a chat with National Pilot on Wednesday, Onagun, who is also the state chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) however said that the national body of IPAC was yet to take a position on the matter.
According to him, Buhari has the right to seek for the office and Nigerians should be able to decide how well he has performed in his three-point agenda to fight corruption, improve the economy and security.
“But I believe he should have emulated Mandela and his honour will still be there. One can only try his best as a leader and that is why till today, people still refer to late Obafemi Awolowo as the president that never was, same with Sardauna. Even 20 years will not be enough to solve a nation’s problem. He (Buhari) has tried his best in the first tenure and honour is very important as a person likewise dignity and it should be jealously guided,” he added.
On his part, the state chairman of the Congress of Nigerian’s Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Adebayo Lawal, described it as a “welcome development” but urged the President to ensure he performed better than the first term if he scaled the primary hurdle to emerge the APC’s candidate.
“We want him to gear up and perform than the first term,” he added.
On the armed robbery incident in Offa, both the Labour Party and CNPP reacted in separate press statements calling on the authorities to fish out the culprit and bring them to book.
According to the LP statement signed by the party’s chairman and secretary, Comrade AbdulMumini Onagun and Comrade Price Rotimi Ajiboye respectively, a copy of which was made available to National Pilot Wednesday, the party commiserated with the Kwara State government, Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II and the people of Offa over the incident and called on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the criminals. It also demands for adequate compensation for the victims of the robbery attack that include policemen and for security agencies to be well equipped to effectively combat criminals in the country.
The CNPP statement which was also signed by his chairman, Alhaji Adebayo Lawal, state secretary, Prince Olufemi Adeleke and PRO, Hon Abu Ifabiyi, also commiserated with all those affected in the incident including the government and people of the state and lauded prompt deployment of an Amoured Personnel Carrier (APC) facilitated by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.