Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, on Saturday, February 15, has said the speculated presidential ambition of the governor of Kaduna state, Nasiru El-Rufa’i and that of the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu would not destabilise the party as many have feared.
Buni, who speaking in an interview on the Hausa BBC, said APC would not have any problem in 2023 because President Buhari has laid a strong foundation through good governance.
The 2023 presidency, though still some three years away, is one of the most recurrent debates that have dominated Nigeria’s political discourse since 2019.
He also rejected the presidential rotation or zoning that many have been agitating for ahead of 2023.
He argued that restricting the presidency to a zone in 2023 will limit the choices of Nigerians during the poll.
Recall that both the ruling party, APC, and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been making comments regarding the 2023 presidency and their plans to win the election.
Many political stakeholders have also been making comments on the development just as there have been speculations about some key politicians who are interested in taking over the coveted seat after President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, recalled that, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, has been endorsed Bola Tinubu as the best replacement for President Buhari when his tenure elapses in 2023.
Although, Babachir said he was not advocating a switch of power from the north to the south, he maintained that Tinubu, a southerner, was the best person to replace Buhari in 2023.
There had been mounting tension over which zone would produce the next President in the 2023 elections.
A two-time governor of Imo State and APC Senator, Rochas Okorocha, had first raised the alarm in September 2019 when he said the APC might crumble after Buhari’s exit from office. He, therefore, called for the overhauling of the party leadership to avert it.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja after the elections petitions tribunal affirmed his victory as the winner of the senatorial election in Imo West Senatorial District, Okorocha said, “I have never thought of leaving the party; I feel that time will take care of most things but my only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari.”
Also, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, had in January said the ruling party might cease to exist at the end of Buhari’s tenure.
Fayemi, who is also a founding member and a leader of the ruling party, told Daily Trust, “If we are not careful; if we do not institutionalise processes and procedures in the party and make it more inclusive than it is, we will not have a party when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves government. This is because he is the unifying force of our party.”
But in his response, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, who is also of the APC, disagreed with Fayemi on his position, stating that the President had promised to support the party and make sure it gets stronger even after leaving office.
He had said, “On the survival of the APC after President Buhari, President Buhari made a commitment to the governors that he would support us in any way to make sure that the party survives and waxes stronger even after him.”