Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu told reporters yesterday after a meeting with the President at Aso Villa that he had been appointed to lead a group in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 election.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group will on January 20 inaugurate its Southwest zonal office to launch the President’s reelection battle.
He said for Buhari to seek a second term “goes without saying”.
“I know he has not made up his mind but I can say that some of us can assist him in making up his mind so that Nigeria can continue to enjoy stability and progress.
“I mean if you have a child who goes to primary school, does well, proceeds to secondary school, does well, and you keep asking, is he going to university? It goes without saying. By the grace of God, we his ardent supporters who appreciate his worth on behalf of millions of Nigerians would urge him to recontest.”
Asked whether campaigns for 2019 elections had begun, Shittu said: “Everyday since he came into office, all his activities are geared towards letting Nigeria know they have a saviour, a rescuer, somebody who is committed to providing relief to Nigerians in all respects.
“In the area of fighting corruption, insurgency, whether in the Northeast or the Niger Delta, in the area of repairing the economy and providing jobs and providing social stability in the society. You will agree with me that today but for Buhari, Boko Haram would have invaded even Lagos.”
Shittu, who hails from Oke Ogun, Oyo State, plans to run for governor in 2019, having previously failed as the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011.
The President has not spoken about his interest in 2019.
During the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, an attempt to move a motion on his 2019 candidature was stopped.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said on New Year’s Eve that ”nobody knows whether or not the President will seek reelection. About four groups have come to the President, asking if he will go for second term. The last of such groups was Good Governance Support Group, but the President has not said anything.”
However, in October, last year, the Buhari Support Organisation inaugurated its office in Abuja to campaign for Buhari’s second term.
Buhari’s men and many public office holders gathered at the event which enjoyed wide publicity.
Customs Comptroller General Col. Hamid Ali, the chief speaker at the event, urged the President to reward those who worked for his emergence but still left in the cold more than two years into the four-year tenure.
Members of the group-led by Senator Abu Ibrahim, later visited the President at the Villa.
The President himself gave a subtle hint that he would run when he told Nigerians in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire when met with them after attending an African Union/European Union Summit, that he might need Nigerians’ vote in future.