Elder Statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, says he is not surprised with President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to seek re-election in 2019.
Buhari, at a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of APC on Monday in Abuja, announced his intention to seek a second term in 2019.
Yakasai told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano that he was not surprised at the announced because the president’s body language had already indicated that he would re-contest for the office.
The statesman, who was a Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to former President Shehu Shagari, said the Buhari’s decision was much-awaited.
On his part, an Islamic scholar in Kano, Malam Dauda Makera, commended Buhari for the decision to seek re-election.
He, however, expressed the hope that the APC would conduct primaries to produce credible candidates at all levels.
“We are happy that President Buhari has declared his intention to re-contest for the Presidency but our hope is that the party will conduct primaries.”
The cleric said that conducting primaries would strengthen the party and produce the most popular candidates to prevent imposition of unpopular candidates on the electorate.
However, a cross section of Federal civil servants in Kano welcomed the president’s decision for a second term, saying he needed to complete some of the good policies and programmes he initiated.
One of them, Mr Abdul Sani, said a second term would give the president the chance to complete some laudable projects, including the rail lines.
Another civil servant, Mr Ibrahim Bala, said “if Buhari is given a second chance, he will be able to consolidate on the achievements his administration had so far recorded.
In Abuja, some residents urged APC to come up with a more vibrant candidate ahead of the 2019 election.
They said that though Buhari was doing a good job, his age and health would not support a second term for him.
Mr Onyilo Oche, an accountant, told NAN that Buhari had tried his best and had contributed his quota to national development and should take a deserved rest.
“What does he want to do again? His health failed him a lot already; I think he should go and rest so he can live long.
“He has tried and has contributed his best to nation-building; it’s time for him to rest,” he said.
An unemployed, at a newspaper stand, who simply identified himself as Ibrahim, said that Buhari was the most worthy candidate for office of the president at the moment.
He said that the president may have his low points but that his reputation had remained intact in spite of all the challenges.
Ibrahim said that the country needed people with great integrity to lead it to the promise land.
In Benin, mixed reactions greeted the re-election bid of the president as some persons welcomed it while some said he needed to rest because of his health.
Publicity Secretary of APC in Edo, Mr Lawrence Okah, said that the decision was a good omen not only to the party but to Nigeria.
He said that Buhari came on board when the country was in a bad shape and that so far, he had been able to clean the rot in the system and started a new foundation.
He said that in view of this, it was only wise for Nigerians to re-elect and support him to build and consolidate on the foundation.
But Mr Micah Ejikeme, a commercial vehicle operator, said that the president’s decision to go for another term in 2019 was uncalled for.
Ejikeme said that Nigerians knew what was needed now for the country and would decide so at the polls.
“The president needs to rest; age and health are not in his favour,’’ he said.
On his part, a civil servant, Mr Jaja Enode, admitted that the president was entitled to his decision, but said that Nigerians would decided if he deserved another term.
He cautioned that “whatever happens in 2019, Nigerians should hold themselves responsible.’’ (NAN)