By Ayo Fadimu
The Chairman of National Caretaker Commitee of Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) Senator Ahmed Makarfi has debunked the claim by Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that 34 governors have endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari to contest for presidency in 2019.
Presently, there are 25 APC governors, 10 PDP governors and one APGA governor in the country. It means that at least nine opposition governors would have endorsed Buhari to reach the number claimed by Okorocha but Makarfi in an exclusive chat with Nigerian NewsDirect said even the ruling party has not agreed to give the president automatic with the Southwest reiterating it severally that presidency is not automatic for everyone including the president
“The APC as a Party I recall has not agreed to automatic ticket to the President.The South West APC caucus re-emphasized that position. So do the arithmetic” he responded.
The southwest chapter of the party have repeatedly said there will be no automatic ticket for any candidate of the party.
Director of Media, South East Governors Forum Mike Udah denied knowledge of endorsement by South East Governors in response to enquiry by Nigerian NewsDirect about the endorsement claimed by Gov Okorocha. According to him, the subject has not been discussed by governors of South East.
Another official of the PDP National Secretariat advised our correspondent to disregard the position of Okorocha described as blanket story. “ There is no truth in it and remember the credibility of the person saying it. You would soon hear that the whole Igbos are for Buhari,” he said.
The APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also reiterated this position after a closed door meting with the National Chairman of Pan Yoruba Socio Cultural Group Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti in Akure the Ondo state capital.
According to him, no Governor can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves, stressing that President Mohammadu Buhari is a believer in the process of rule of law.
It would be recalled that Okorocha has described Buhari as the most qualified person to lead Nigeria in 2019.
He further stated the results from the recent Anambra elections cannot be used to judge Buhari’s political popularity.
This, Okorocha disclosed while addressing leaders of the ‘Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 20192 , who visited him at the government house, Owerri.
He also appealed to all Nigerians to rally round and support Buhari for a second term in office.
“President Buhari is the best for the country at the moment and that there could not have been a better option now.”
‘’I am a believer of Buhari and I made it clear years ago that if President Buhari is running for president, I will not run.”
“Now God has chosen him to be the president of Nigeria and some of us are witnesses that Buhari was and is still the best for Nigeria at this material time.”
“Supporting Buhari for a second tenure will bring about the new Nigeria we are talking about. This will put Nigeria first and the unity we are looking for will be guaranteed under this administration,” he said.
“Our nation is going through a challenging moment and we will require a man of his calibre to see us through this period.
“People should not use the Anambra election result to judge the support for Buhari as it does not reflect the support.
“Even the government and people of Anambra support President Buhari, what happened was that an internal disagreement among the leaders in APC in Anambra cost us the election.”