It has become apparent, that the visit of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), a campaign organisation of no less than 189 groups, signals the preparation of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term in 2019.
A delegation of the group, which claimed to have worked tirelessly in 2015 to ensure Buhari emerged president, had on Friday visited the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, and assured Buhari of their full support for him to go for a second tenure in 2019.
The visit comes on the heels of very sensitive remarks made by one of Buhari’s most trusted allies, Hameed Ali, which alluded to how powering sharing tussles have left the ruling party very fractured.
On Friday, however, leader of the BSO delegation, Abu Ibrahim, had after meeting with President Buhari said, “We came here as members of the national committee of the Buhari support group. This is an amalgamation of about 189 different support groups that had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to win the 2015 general election.
“We have been holding meetings, discussing the problems of this country, Nigeria. So, we thought it was high time we met with the president to intimate him about the activities of the group. We discussed with him about the plans to improve the situation in Nigeria. Mr. President was very pleased with our programmes.”
Although Ibrahim claimed that the issue of 2019 was never discussed during the meeting, he however said BSO believed he was the best option as he could ensure the progress and stability of the nation.
But in the words of Senate Majority leader, Ahmed Lawan, who joined BSO during the visit, Buhari must contest the 2019 election so as to “continue the good work he has started”.
The visit came just as the group had also on Friday unveiled an ultra-modern Buhari BSO office complex in Jabi, Abuja. At the event, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), practically blamed the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the wrong sharing of 2015 “loot”.
The power sharing outcomes which, according to Ali, had former members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), now in APC, controlling 50 per cent of the present government, was a misnomer and reason for Buhari’s government derailment.
Alluding to Buhari’s core loyalists in the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) who started the presidential journey in 2003, Ali suggested that others, like Bola Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and defectors from PDP, who joined to form a coalition in 2015, may have got more than a fair share of the 2015 ‘loot’.
According to Ali, it was necessary that those who fought in a battle were those who should first enjoy the “loot” if a system must change.
Buttressing this he said, “In the course of the jihad of the Prophet Mohammad, anytime they went out for a battle, they came back with loot, but this loot, as far as my own research told me, was not distributed to everybody, but to those who took the sword and faced the enemies.
“Today, with all sense of responsibility, I want to say that we have 50 per cent of (defectors from the) PDP in our government. How can we move forward with this load? How can we achieve our target with this load? It is a spoilt system and so when you come in, you shake off everybody and bring in your own. That is what democracy is all about.
“Today, we have members of the PDP calling the shots. That is what we will begin to fight for; we will fight for our rightful position, our vision and our mission for this government. It is essential because we are a political organisation.”
Not ready to take chances, especially as some stalwarts of the APC had said that the presidential ticket of the party was still open, Ali called on members of BSO to get ready to fight and take back the government as well as decide its future.
He said, “We have been infused by people who were not part of this journey and these people are the ones that call the shots today. That is why we are derailing.
“We are the ones that will be asked to account for what happened. Are we willing to face Nigerians and tell them that we have failed? I think this is the time for us to come together, create a system that is very robust enough to fight back and take back government in our hands and ensure that we deliver.
“I will, therefore, ask my colleagues of the BSO to go back to the study room. This is a commission, but it is also the beginning of the fight for good governance. We must get back to the trenches, draw our own battle plan and battle line. I enjoin you to have the same commitment we had in 2015; I implore you to bear with us and commit yourself to a better future for Nigeria.
“We will be calling on you from now on and we will be working day and night. We must do so because we want to save our name at the end of the day and the name of the President for what he is doing.”
At the event were such APC chieftains as Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, and governors of Bauchi and Plateau states, Mohammed Abubakar and Simon Lalong respectively.
In his contribution at the event, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, described what faces members of the BSO as war that must be fought with vigour and power.
He said, “I want us to understand one thing; in 2015, the other people fought with some reservations and confidence that after all, it was impossible for us to leave. But now, knowing that they have left, it is going to be more than a war; we have to prepare for that war without just presuming that being in government is enough instrumentation for us to win easily. So, we should set up our arsenal; in conscience, in thought and psychology.”
Will the Buhari government now use the jihadist formula as Ali has suggested head 2019 polls? Only events ahead can tell?