APC leaders converge on Daura where decision on Buhari's 2019 election bid is expected

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is meeting with all the senior leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) today at his Daura country home today where it is expected that they will decide on his 2019 re-election bid.


In February next year, Nigeria will go to the polls and President Buhari, who is eligible to run for a second term is expected to be the APC flagbearer. Although the president is yet to formally declare his intention to stand, several of his aides have been setting up campaign teams.


Earlier this year, former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo asked President Buhari not to stand again, advising him to return to Daura and retire. However, the advice was met with a swift response by APC officials, who outlined President Buhari's achievements, indicating that he intends to stand again.


In what is expected to be a final meeting to decide on the fate of the president, several high profile party members including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former party chairman Chief Bisi Akande have arrived in Daura. APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun is also in attendance and although the official reason for the trip is to commiserate with the president who recently lost two members of his extended family, the gathering is expected to discuss the 2019 elections.


Already this month, former Kano State governor Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso declared his intention to run for the APC ticket and his announcement has attracted condemnation from senior APC figures. Already, the Kano State governor has barred Senator Kwankwaso from holding political rallies on the state fuelling a bitter spat.


Asiwaju Tinubu has subsequently appointed to head a committee on consultation, reconciliation and confidence building meant to improve unity within the APC. It is not yet clear if the committee's findings will be acted on today.


Yesterday, APC governors met with President Buhari in Daura as part of the process. Among the governors who attended the meeting were Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abubakar Muhammed (Bauchi), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Aminu Masari (Katsina) and  Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna.


Others included Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Godwin Obaseki, (Edo), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa State). The governors of Benue, Ogun and Osun states were represented by their deputies, while Yobe and Plateau sent top government officials to the meeting.