Immediate past Jigawa State Governor and founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, would be shocked in 2019, insisting that if God says he (Lamido) would be President, the same God would clear the way for him.
He spoke in an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, in his country home, Bamaina, last Sunday, shortly after playing host to hundreds of youths from across the country.
In the build up to the 2015 polls, many Nigerians thought you were going to run for the Presidency. What happened, why did you not run?
You are asking this question because you are not a politician. But then political parties have got history; they have traditions. In the world over, where you have your party, as the one in government, and which produced the incumbent President, it is not in tune with such political party’s tradition to sponsor a candidate against him; for the purpose of pulling him down and then replace him with another person, no matter what. If that is done, it shows lack of party unity; lack of party coherence. It is like passing a vote of no confidence on the person. So, those who are asking me to run then, fail to understand this particular background and also the peculiarity of the third world politics, where, for instance, the President is virtually the lord. The entire party system, organs, the institution of the state is under him, because, as the leader of the party, he is the symbol of authority. And therefore Mr. President is also the leader of the country, and he has all the legal institutions, reins of power also under him. So, it is simply unthinkable, amounting to personal delusion, to say you want to run against him, in the same party.
Now assuming you run with him, assuming you defeat him in your own party and he is the country’s President, you are simply passing a vote of no confidence on him as a person. And, therefore, there is no way you will do this and then expect the country and Nigerians to respect him. If his own party could formally denounce him, what do you expect other Nigerians to do? That is one.
Secondly, by the time you renounce him, it will also pose a threat condition on the election management. If you humiliate him, you embarrass him, you think he will watch and allow you win the election? These are things which are simply unthinkable. They don’t make sense. It is not fair. It is not right. It is not right to the system. It can lead to political revolution and even destabilize the country, for a party to pull out its own President. Again, if he is defeated and in the process of primaries you create your own kind of support base and he defeats you, there will be people who will feel highly aggrieved. And the resultant consequences in terms of the party acrimonies would be so difficult to manage and reconcile before the elections. And it will also cost you the election. These are realities.