Doyin Okupe, former presidential spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan and Accord Party Chieftain has called on the Senate President Bukola Saraki to leverage on his increasing popularity and contest the 2019 presidential election.
Okupe said this while reflecting on the current crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) including the recent breakaway of the Reformed APC on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily yesterday.
According to Okupe, “Apart from Buhari, the next most visible and most notable politician in Nigeria today is Saraki, and he would do himself a great favour if he steps into the ring and run for president, because he has the pedigree.
He continued further,
“Saraki had the required exposure and experience from being a Special Assistant to the president to being a two-term governor, and now the Senate president. He has been through different stages of leadership and this makes him stand out among many other aspirants who have indicated interest to become president.”
When asked if it was possible for Sraki to run on the platform of the APC giving the latter’s support for incumbent President, Buhari who has indicated interest to run for a second term on the platform of the party,
According to Okupe, “APC would be doing themselves a favour if they do not allow the president to run, and I don’t see Saraki contesting primaries in the APC, it is impossible, the hostility against him in the APC is too much, and that is why he needs to move to another party where he can form alliance with other parties to contest.”
The Accord party chieftain thinks President Buhari and the APC have lost the will of the people and their popularity is at an all time low.
“Buhari’s government and the APC are presently at the lowest ebb of popularity. The saying that Buhari has 12million votes in the North is delusional, the northerners are also affected by the economic problem Nigeria is facing, and a larger percentage of the goodwill and popularity Buhari enjoyed before the 2015 elections have diminished because the people are not happy”
He observed that although the North was Buhari’s base in the 2015 elections, the insecurity and wanton killings across the region has changed the dynamic of the region and the incumbent president will find it difficult to garner the same number of votes like it did during the 2015 Elections. He opined that any Northern vote lost by the APC in the next elections will not be recovered anywhere else.