The Presidency has again insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari would support only the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Ogun State governorship election but added that the president, however, welcomes endorsements from other parties.
This is coming after the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun again met with President Buhari alongside his preferred candidate for governor in the 2019 election and candidate of the opposition Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade.
Although governor Amosun who is the senatorial candidate of his party, the ruling APC, has vowed to work against his party in the governorship election in the state.
Amosun made the vow against his party after months of faceoff with the Adams Oshiomhole led national executive of the APC and his inability to secure the party’s ticket for Akinlade.
The governor had previously met with Mr Buhari alongside Mr Akinlade and then with the national chairman of APM, Yusuf Dantalle.
Dantalle, during the visit presented a letter adopting the president as the candidate of the party in the 2019 election.
The Presidency, however, in its reaction to media inquiries following the repeated meetings of Buhari with the Ogun APM candidate said the president will work for all APC candidates.
Garba Shehu, the spokesperson of the president, said this in a statement issued on Sunday.
“Following repeated media enquiries on the matter, the Presidency wishes to state in clear and unmistakable terms that as a party leader and a candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming elections, President Muhammadu Buhari will campaign for the party and all its candidates.”
Mr Shehu said this position, does not, however, mean that Mr Buhari, as the nation’s leader will decline courtesy calls or offers of support from citizens including candidates flying the flags of other parties.
“There is no doubt that the president has no competition here in terms of popularity in the coming elections. But the more support he gets, the wider the margin of victory there will be.
“So please let there be no confusion about this. President Buhari is APC. He will campaign for all APC candidates, but he welcomes support and endorsements,” Mr Shehu said.
The statement was issued after Governor Amosun and the APM governorship candidate, Akinlade again met with Buhari at the president’s official residence.
Our Purpose of Vist – Amosun
But according to Amosun, the visit to the Villa was “to just wish the president a Happy New year” and assure him of their loyalty.
“It is to come and formally say Happy New year to Mr President and to reassure him of our unalloyed support,” he said.
He also said they were at the villa to “tell him (Buhari) that in the coming elections in the contest of South-west, Ogun State will not be left behind”.
“We are going to give him massive votes that have never been seen in the history of Ogun State. That is what we are here to reassure him and of course you see the candidate of APM with me,” the governor said.
“This is not the first time to come and say hello to Mr President but this is a new year and we just think it would be appropriate.”
The Ogun State governor said Buhari doesn’t need to “still run around” canvassing for votes because “his work is everywhere”.
“Infrastructures are now in place and gradually Mr President is bringing back the middle class; the revolution he is bringing to bear in agriculture, all the social safety nets that he is bringing on board, N-power, GEEP, ‘market money’ and many others.
“People that ordinarily have been running around begging for money are now employers of labour themselves and that is the way to go if we must get it right as a nation,” he said.
The APM governorship candidate said President Buhari is a “wonderful person” and that he always left impressed after meeting the president.
“What we just tried to do today is to reassure him that what we have done still stands and we are working very hard to make sure that he wins in Ogun state,” he said.
Recall that the APC candidate, Dapo Abiodun, had earlier also visited Mr Buhari alongside a former governor of the state, Olusegun Osoba.
They also told reporters after the visit that Mr Buhari had assured them of his support.