As the permutations towards 2019 presidential race hot up, a fresh insight has been given into the political calculations of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor who many expect to join the race.
Those who expect to see El-Rufai in the race are however being told that he is not blind to the political realities. El-Rufai will not join the 2019 presidential race if President Muhammadu Buhari is going for a second term, one of the close associates of the governor has told Newsdiaryonline.com.
“Look,El-Rufai is not stupid, he will not contest if Buhari is in the race. That is the way he is. He is with Buhari as I’m talking with you,” the associate said.
The governor’s political ally spoke in the light of the on-going media war between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and El-Rufai. There is the growing belief that media war part of the efforts the two politicians to checkmate each other in the race for 2016.
But the governor’s long term associate said, “If you attack El-Rufai like Atiku did, you know he is a stubborn person, he will fight back to defend himself. But he is not like Atiku who wants to run for election in 2019 whether Buhari is in the race or not.”
It must be stated that Atiku has not officially, openly declared his ambition towards the 2019 race yet. One of the former vice president’s aides said there is nothing wrong with anyone having an ambition,anyway
‘Buhari Is in the 2019 Race Already’
Newsdiaryonline.com was also told that politicians are becoming increasingly convinced that Buhari is in the 2019 race already. And they believe he has the ace.
“Things may not be as easy as it was in 2015,but he has the advantage of incumbency. It is not going to be easy to fight Buhari. It does not make sense, the way thing are going” a politician watching unfolding events revealed.
He added, “we know Buhari wants to run. All these endorsements of his efforts even by Christian groups are not for nothing”, another politician said.
The clearest hint that Buhari will contest in 2019 came through a statement Monday by Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu while responding to an assertion by Engineer Buba Galadima. According to Shehu, Buhari will not be alone in 2019 as the masses, he said, will back the president.
Political insiders however insist that Buhari may face opposition as there is an on= going realignment of forces. Whether such moves can stop Buhari is unclear.