Buhari, Atiku And The Swinging Voters
Nigeria News take a look at the public rating of President Muhammad Buhari and Abubakar Atiku’s challenges as 2019 draws closer
President Muhammadu Buhari tested his popularity in Kano on Wednesday and got a positive result. He was overwhelmed by the mammoth crowd that greeted his visit to the ancient city and was quick to add that he would win if the election were to be conducted that yesterday.
Buhari dropped another hint almost two weeks that he spoke in Ivory Coast that he would need some votes in the future, clearing the air about his aspiration for the second term in office.
Kano’s crowd motivated him and his words sent both signal and panic into the opposition parties and of course some ambitious members of his party, the All Progressive Congress.
They all saw in Kano that Buhari is still much loved in a state that gave him the highest number of votes in 2015. The president was happy. He was more relaxed and he laughed with all his frame.
The present administration may not have performed to the expectation of many Nigerians, it is one government that has refused to squander the public funds.
It is slow, enduring and seems that nothing is happening and perhaps nothing good will happen, it has been a government method that is not deterred by criticism.
Truly, Nigerians tolerate this government, judging by the present economic hardship, the citizens hardly attack Buhari’s integrity in fighting corruption and doggedness in providing security.
Just last week, the president made a mockery of the newest defected member of his party, the former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, when he sympathized with the National Chairman of his party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for losing “such a prominent member”.
The next day, Buhari was off for the African Union-European Union Summit in Ivory Coast with another national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Their journey went beyond the summit, it was a strategy for the 2019 election.
However, Buhari must note that he is into politics and a country of swinging voters. He is presently enjoying goodwill, a kind the former President Goodluck Jonathan enjoyed.
Buhari should also remember that goodwill does not last forever but performance, which most Nigerians will like to see before 2019 when a new poll would be conducted.
As the spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye puts it, the crowd Buhari saw in Kano on Wednesday is not an indication of electoral victory but a normal reception for any president by his people.
He is of the view that the president will not see such crowd during the coming election. A large number of Nigeria electorate are poor, making it easy for politicians to manoeuvre.
And on Saturday 9, when the PDP will be holding its national convention in Abuja, the coast will be a bit clearer whether Atiku will be the flagbearer of the party against Buhari.
Atiku knows the game and the terrain but will he be loved as he gradually worms himself into the hearts of the electorate. The Nigeria politics, like swinging doors being played around by the swinging voters.