The Senator representing Yobe East under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bukar Abba Ibrahim has hinted that Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba States would massively vote against President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential elections as a result of his governance style that brought hardship upon Nigerians.
The three-term serving senator and former governor of Yobe State, stated this in Abuja on Saturday night, during the launch of his book: ‘Poorlitics’ at his 70th birthday celebration.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker also declared that massive rigging might not save Buhari from the imminent defeat, stressing that realities on ground showed that Nigerians had been enmeshed in more excruciating socio-economic difficulties under him within the last three and half years than they were, throughout the 16 years of governance under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from May 1999 to May 2015.
The lawmaker, whose wife, Khadijat Ibrahim, currently serves as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in the Buhari government, stated that the North-East should not be taken for granted since it’s not compulsory for the zone to support Buhari who is from the North-West.
He pointed out that the North-East and the North-West geopolitical zones only came together for the first time under one political umbrella in 2015 since several decades of party formations and democratic governance in the country, spanning 1950s to date.
Ibrahim said: “In fact, the politics of the North-East has always been different from the politics of the North-West and it was under APC that we all united for the first time.
“As we move towards the elections, I have to give a dire warning to the APC that things are no longer the way they were in 2015 when we rode to power on a cloud of euphoria believing that things will change for better.
“Simply put, things have not changed and many things are getting worse and the people are bitter. We should not assume that we could win even with massive rigging.
“The economy has gone down because of our action and inaction and we are blaming the past too much rather than solving the present problems.
“I am going to give a dire warning. Let the North-East not be taken for granted that we must support APC. Our interest in the North-East has always been progressive and I will personally be watching for required improvements in the APC before the elections.
“Improvements that can guarantee victory such as respecting the rule of law and releasing political prisoners as well as unselective war against corruption as against one sided witch hunt.”
Still firing his missiles at Buhari and the APC, the ex-governor said he, like most Nigerians, had a dream that the nation would be changed for the better when the APC took over in 2015, but that more than three years down the line, those hopes had been dashed.
He warned that unlike in 2015 when it had a smooth ride to power, the APC would have to do more to convince the people of the North-East to consider voting for it because a lot had changed
Ibrahim cautioned that if the APC under Buhari did not get its bearings in terms of good governance before the 2019 general elections, the North-East would have no other option than to vote for a candidate of another political party.
According to him, one of the candidates that might be considered as an alternative to Buhari is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is from Adamawa State and the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 presidential elections.
Ibrahim said: “I shall sit back and continue encouraging my party to do the right thing. But if we don’t, I still reserve the right to ask my people to go our separate ways and do what must be done for good governance to reign in Nigeria.”