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Buhari Receives Knocks, Kudos As He Declares For Second Term

President Muhammadu Buhari briefly stopped activities at the All Progressives Congress’ National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Monday when he declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019.

Governors and national leadership of the APC present were said to have been taken aback by the President’s declaration.

They were said to have, however, quickly recovered and clapped as soon as the President declared his intention.

It was gathered that the governors and the national leadership, led by the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, were not aware of the decision until the President spoke.

A source told Punch, “We didn’t expect that the President was going to inform the meeting about his intention.

“I’m not even sure the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were aware. The look on their faces didn’t portray that they were told earlier.

Why I’m seeking re-election – Buhari 
The President at the NEC meeting explained why he would seek re-election in 2019.

Buhari, who is already 75 years, said he was responding to the clamour by Nigerians to re-contest in 2019, adding that he wanted to give NEC members the honour of notifying them first.

Before making the declaration, the President gave his speech on the report of the APC National Executive Technical Committee.

According to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau who briefed journalists after the meeting, the President made known his second term ambition in a closed-door meeting with the party´s NEC members.

The NEC meeting was the third since February 27 where it approved the tenure extension of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee of the party and its other executives for one year staring from June.

Buhari had at another NEC meeting on March 27, opposed the one-year tenure extension decision, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.

The Monday´s NEC meeting was to look into the report of the 10-member committee constituted by the party’s NWC to advise its leadership on the issue.

Lalong said the report of the committee’s report was accepted by all the APC leaders, including the president.

He said, “Everybody’s interest was considered in the report and the adoption was a unanimous vote.

“The President was excited because of this unity in the party, and he accepted the appeal by several members of the society, party and everybody, that he re-contest in the 2019 election.

“He has accepted that he is going to contest again the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Reactions from Nigerians

Nigeria don’t need Buhari, says Fayose 

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said Nigeria does not need Buhari as her leader in 2019, noting that Monday’s declaration of second term ambition by the President is dead on arrival.

The governor also noted that if Buhari was re-elected, he would kill the country.

Fayose, who spoke to journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Monday through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said if Buhari was unable to read the handwriting on the wall and knew when to call it quits, Nigerians would show him the exit door in 2019 by voting him out of office.

“We don’t want grandpa as President anymore. Nigeria does not deserve a Buhari as president in 2019. Buhari is old and tired. His declaration today is a slap on Nigerians in the face. He should go home and rest.”

‘Tell Nigerians your achievements’ 
A former President of Aka Ikenga, an Igbo think tank, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, has said even though the President has a constitutional right to seek re-election, he should tell Nigerians what he has done to deserve another term in office.

Uwazurike said the President should weigh his campaign promises against his performance so far.

“He listed three major areas – corruption, security and the economy – as his focus. He should tell us where his achievements lie in these areas. .

“He should tell us how our economy is better off now that the prices of a bag of rice and a litre of petrol have doubled. In fact, he should tell us that our medical services have improved, and that the children of top politicians school here,” he said.

Buhari’s declaration disappointing – Fela Durotoye 
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the GEMSTONE Leadership Centre, Fela Durotoye, said it was disappointing that Buhari would be seeking re-election in 2019.

He said the country couldn’t afford four more years of Buhari’s presidency due to insecurity and high unemployment rate, among other negative indices the country was exhibiting.

“We saw it coming, but we’re disappointed. For Buhari to ask for four more years, I believe Nigerians deserve better. We can’t afford four more years of disappointment. It’s an indictment on the youths that a 75-year-old man, who should be in retirement, will be the one leading them for four more years.”

Buhari has exercised his right, says ACF 
The Arewa Consultative Forum said on Monday that it was the right of President Muhammadu Buhari to declare his interest for the nation’s presidency.

The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Alhaji Muhammadu Biu, said the President only exercise his right as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

“It is now the right of his party, APC, to nominate him in accordance with the party’s rules and regulations,” the ACF’s spokesman added.

He doesn’t deserve another term – Moghalu 
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and presidential hopeful, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has said Buhari is undeserving of a second term based on his poor performance.

He, however, noted that he had the right to seek a second term.

Moghalu said, “I do not think he deserves to be re-elected based on an objective assessment of his failed performance. Nigerians deserve a very different kind of effective and inclusive leadership that can unite the country and reverse the poverty that has made our country the poverty capital of the world with the highest numbers of absolutely poor people of any country.’’