A House of Representatives member, Rep. Aminu Shagari (Sokoto-APC), said President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention to seek re-election in 2019 was a good development for the All Progressives Congress party (APC).
Shagari told newsmen in Abuja on Monday that since no one had come out openly in the party to announce interest for the presidency, it was good that Buhari declared his intention.
He said that a second term for the president was good “because he means well for Nigerians’’.
“It is a good thing for the president to say he is running in 2019.This is because if you look at it, in the APC, no one has come out openly to say he is going to contest against him.
“So, for him to come out now is a good thing for the party.
“On his achievements, the president is a truthful person and means well for Nigerians which is one of the important things any leadership can have.
“Once people can trust you, the economy or wealth of the nation can be safe and that confidence is what matters,’’ he said.
On areas Nigeria needed improvement, Shagari said that there was “no clear cut vision on where we are heading to and that is where he should get experts to help’’.
“The president should get experts that will sit down and chat the way forward for the nation and that is the most important thing he should do when he comes back in 2019.
“One of the things people are complaining about is the cabal surrounding him, I will advise him to allow some intelligentsia to come close to him and tell him what is going on,’’ he said.
On corruption, the lawmaker said that the president was doing well as he had good intentions to end the vice for a better country.
“His zeal and intentions are there to fight corruption and I thought that he would have started with the police.
“Once the police are put in place, 90 per cent of the fight against corruption would have been achieved.
“I expect that in 2019 the police would be put right and the war against indiscipline should also be re-introduced.’’
However, he advised the president to take things easy and try to make the 2019 electioneering campaign less vigorous.
Similarly, a member of the Senate, Sen. Shehu Sani, said the president’s declaration had helped to put to rest insinuations, speculations and ambitions of “supposed’’ candidates for the 2019 election.
“It has also helped in quashing the suspense the matter had generated. So, the ball is now in the courts of the electorate to make their decision,” Sani, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial District, told NAN,
In his reaction, Senate Spokesman, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, said “I am pleased and happy that our president has formally declared, ending all speculations.
“I join other party members and loyalist in the joy of this development.
“I pray that Almighty Allah will grant him good health, patience, tolerance and wisdom to continue to steer the ship of state to peace and prosperity by consolidating on successes recorded in economic restoration and growth.
On his part, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Nasarawa state, Mr Innocent Lagi, said that the announcement of the president’s intention at this time was “interesting”.
According to him, it is interesting because whatever the president says now becomes as political as any other candidate running for an election.
“The sensitivity of either criticising him has become eroded. It is now important for Nigerians to say what they think of his candidacy,” Lagi said.
He said that now that Buhari “is a candidate for an election, we have the opportunity to critique him without being referred to as hate speech makers,” he said.
Similarly, a political analyst, Mr John Alyerono, said “I’m not surprised going by Nigeria’s history.
“We have not really had any incumbent president or governor declining to exercise his constitutional right to run for second term irrespective of their performances.
“It is always known within Nigeria’s political parlance that they are the best until proven otherwise by the electorate.
“For the president’s declaration, we all just have to wait and see and allow the voting populace to decide if he had over-achieved or under-achieved to merit a second term,” he said.