Buhari’s Chess Masters Lay Out Plan to Checkmate Saraki, Dogara Others

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With the 2019 Elections on the horizon, strategists everywhere are laying down plans as to how they can get the upper hand for their candidates and make sure they come out on top.

With the current crises rocking APC, there are growing fears that some of the party’s bigwigs are looking to jump ship and defect to other parties.

Some of the notable names include; Senate President  Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Senator  Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Senator  Aliyu Wammako, and  Senator  Ahmed Yerima, among others.

In the event of this, strategists according to The Nation, have a plan B in mind to soften the potential blow such a defection would cause.

The strategists believe that the mass defection is so that Buhari loses the 2019 elections and PDP can come back into power.

According to the Nation, the strategists have devised a “state-by-state” plan so as to avoid what happened to Goodluck Jonathan who lost partly because he was abandoned by some of his political allies at the most crucial time.

According to the Nation who got a scoop from one of the strategists said: “With the exit of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the pattern is predictable for Buhari strategists. Some chieftains have shown by their conduct that they are no longer with APC in spirit. Some steps taken by these leaders are pointing to likely defection. We cannot be caught unawares again.

“We know some of those who may defect because intelligence has indicated that some of them are already negotiating the terms of their defection with a few opposition parties.

“We will give a peculiar local response or local content to each of the defectors. It is going to be high-wire politics.”

“For instance in Kano State, it is obvious that Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso will leave APC because of his presidential ambition and irreconcilable crisis of confidence with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

“He wants to prove a point by stopping Ganduje from earning a second term ticket. Since he is extremely popular in Kano, his candidate can become the next governor of the state in 2019 on a 50-50 per cent basis.

“We also do not rule out the possibility of a repeat of the election of Senator Aliyu Sabo Bakin Zuwo (of the defunct PRP) in 1983 as governor of Kano State against the highly favoured Abubakar Rimi of the defunct Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP). Kwankwaso can spring a surprise like Bakin Zuwo

“But Kwankwaso may not go far against Buhari in the presidential race because of some hurdles. His challenge is the platform to use because he has to face a stiff competition for the presidential ticket with his local rival, ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, ex-VP Atiku, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, ex-Governor Sule Lamido, ex-Governor Attahiru  Bafarawa, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and others.

“The permutation of Buhari strategists is that if Kwankwaso gets the ticket of PDP, it will be easier to work with Shekarau’s camp to get substantial votes from Kano.

“Certainly, there will be split votes in Kano in 2019 but the strategists are working hard on how Buhari, who has a solid support base in Kano, can secure at least 60 to 70 per cent of the presidential votes in the state.”

The strategist also spoke on the plan laid out for Kwara state, saying: “With the alliance, Buhari may get  between  45%  and  47% of the votes from Kwara State and the  Kwara South Senatorial seat for APC which the incumbent governor from Ifelodun Local Government Area is interested in against Saraki’s long time ally, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the current Senator.

“The results of the 2015 governorship election showed that the APC candidate, Governor Ahmed secured 295,832 votes to defeat the runner-up, Senator Simeon Ajibola, of the Peoples Democratic Party by 115,220 votes.

“A major plan of Buhari’s strategists is to close the gap in 2019 by working with those who may leave PDP like former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman, Saraki’s ex-Adviser, Moshood Mustapha, ex-VC of UNILORIN, Prof. Shuaibu Oba, Yinka Aluko, ex-PDP governorship candidate, Sen. Ajibola and others.

“If Saraki concedes the Kwara South Senatorial ticket to Offa, his camp can easily win the three senatorial districts in Kwara State. But if he allows the rivalry between the governor and Sen. Rafiu to fester, his camp might lose Kwara South because either of them can play a spoiler game.

“Most of those against Saraki’s hegemony in Kwara State are from Kwara South where the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed comes from. Saraki is worried that Mohammed has not been forthcoming in checking the ‘rebels’ in APC.

“Saraki has however taken his political destiny in his own hands to avoid any slip. He has been shuttling between Abuja and Kwara State in the past few weeks to fortify his base, and holding series of meetings and events in the state, sometimes without the knowledge of the governor who has allegedly created a political baggage for him.

“His major headache is the choice of the governorship candidate for Kwara State in 2019 from either  Kwara Central or Kwara North which produced a governor last in 1992 (26 years ago) in the person of Senator Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi.

“The Emirs and other traditional rulers in Lafiagi recently stormed Abuja to demand the governorship slot from Saraki who asked them to resolve the divisions in Kwara North first. These rulers have raised a three-man panel on how to resolve the rifts in Kwara North.

“If Saraki crosses over to PDP, he will have the same problem of where to pick the next governor from between Kwara Central (the largest voting population area and where opposition to Saraki is unusually coming from) and Kwara North which has been deciding the fate of every elected governor in the state since 1979.

“Those opposed to Saraki either in APC or PDP are waiting for a slip by him on the choice of party and governorship candidate before forming an alliance against him for Buhari’s camp to capitalize on.

“As part of the Plan B, some APC chieftains are pushing for the choice of Saraki’s sister, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, as the national women leader of APC at the forthcoming national convention of the party.

“APC leaders from Kwara South are already plotting against the current National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi by claiming that the slot was conceded to them by the party following the election of Alhaji Lai Mohammed before he became a minister.

“Pro-Saraki leaders insisted that the office was only zoned to Kwara and not any senatorial district. But it is obvious that Sen. Gbemisola’s candidacy is meant to whittle down the influence of Bukola Saraki.

“Kwara may end up with two national officers of APC if the proposal is approved.”

 

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