In an apparent move to insulate itself from the thickening 2019 political hustling, the presidency has passed the buck to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to articulate a response to the widely published claims by Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Aisha Alhassan, that she would stand with Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari in a possible 2019 presidential duel.
Meanwhile, according to reports, APC governors may meet this week during which a common stance on the issue would be articulated. The delay in the governors meeting, it was gathered, was because several of them travelled for pilgrimage.
APC national officers resumed from Sallah holidays, yesterday, without the National Working Committee, NWC, meeting as had been speculated last weekend.
Party spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said no meeting of the NWC had been scheduled for yesterday.
His stance nonetheless, presidency sources, yesterday, said the controversies arising from Alhassan’s leaked video and the follow-up would not distract President Buhari from his agenda of providing infrastructure and lifting the level of governance.
The source said the Presidency has long been aware of subtle campaigns by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso.
A presidency source said yesterday: “We are not bothered by the agitations and the controversy, it is a party matter and we understand that the party would be looking into the matter, so we will leave it for the party.
‘’The president is more concerned with pushing forward his agenda to boost infrastructure and governance.’’
Asked if the Presidency was not bothered by the fact that Mrs. Alhassan’s statement had triggered the commencement of the 2019 political campaigns, the source said:
“We are aware but we are focused on governance. Off course we know that Kwankwanso and Atiku did not cease their campaigns after the 2014 primaries, we know what they are doing and we shall not be diverted, we know that they are setting up structures for 2019 campaign, but again we are not distracted,” the source said.
Besides Kwankwanso and Atiku, another former prominent Northwest governor who worked in Abuja is also said to be quietly organising a structure comprising of politicians from the two major political parties, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.