Apparently disturbed by the growing opposition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election, the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) has commenced talks with southern leaders in a bid to strengthen and expand the president’s support base ahead of the 2019 presidential poll.
The group said it is in talks with prominent southern leaders and groups, including Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Ijaw National Congress, Middle Belt Forum, among others to rekindle their confidence in Buhari and assure them that his second term will be in the best interest of the country, because he is poised to use the next four years to consolidate on the policies of his administration.
The director of Communication and Strategic Planning of the BCO, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, noted that it is for this reason that the group has been touring the southern part of the country in the past few weeks.
According to him, the group’s meetings with the southern leaders, including royal fathers, is to get them to re-examine the scorecard of the Buhari administration in the last three years, and realise that he has performed remarkably well, contrary to the falsehood being peddled by the opposition.
Ibrahim who equally leads an influential pro-Northern group said, “First, we want to reach out to fellow leaders in the south and convince them to rally round Buhari and support him beyond boundaries. This is a job that is very important for us.
“We need the help of the media in this direction to garner support for the president to deliver a better Nigeria. If the president is allowed another four years to do what is needed to consolidate on what he has started, within a very short time, the situation will change in Nigeria.”
Ibrahim stated that most of the leaders from the North are in the forefront of Buhari’s campaign and support for his reelection because his performance in office, particularly in the agriculture sector and his economic diversification policy, is yielding positive results for the economy.
He stated: “We were in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, recently where we reviewed President Buhari’s performance in the last three years. The royal father agreed with us that he has done creditably well. So, that is why we need to reelect him.”
On why the meetings with the southern leaders had been going on secretly, he said, “The agenda of the meetings is not for public consumption. We have been meeting and it is not for me to announce the dates of the meetings and venue of the meetings for newspapers. It is not proper. When we circulate notice of meeting, it is for those who are involved only and not to those who are not part of the meeting”.
On the consistent criticism of President Buhari by some opposition leaders, Ibrahim warned that the divisive politics being practiced by certain politicians won’t benefit the country.
He added: “Let me state here that some so-called opposition leaders should desist from attempts to draft Nigeria into unnecessary national opposition and negative narratives on national events by their destructive criticism of President Buhari. Some groups have also appointed themselves as opposition. This is not the right thing to do.
“President Buhari should be praised for fulfilling some of his campaign promises in sectors like security, war against corruption and the economy. He has even done much more in global politics. Nigeria is no more treated with disdain in the international community”
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