Barely 12 hours after it became clearer that President Muhammadu Buhari’s health condition might not allow him to return to the country any soon, leading contenders in the race to secure the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have intensified political meetings across the country.
It was gathered reliably that while loyalists of the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in various states of the federation had started mobilizing and identifying various groups loyal to Turaki Adamawa’s presidential ambition, some other political heavyweights within the ruling party loyal to former Kano state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had concluded plans to lunch a programme through the Kwankwassiya group as part of strategies to sell their principal.
Recall that both Atiku and Kwankwaso in 2014 contested the APC Presidential primaries against President Muhammadu Buhari, while Kwankwaso came second, Atiku came third at the poll in Lagos.
Though the former Vice President had said recently in Niger state that it was too early to talk about 2019 general election but it was gathered that more than 70 political groups within and outside the APC had already declared support for the Adamawa born politician.
In addition, it was also learnt that leaders of some political parties recently met with Atiku outside Abuja where they declared to collapse their structures with any platform (Party) where the former VP chooses to contest the next presidential poll.
The source said: “It is true that we have been meeting to strategies for our man (Atiku) and these meetings are at different levels. Some youth groups across the country are also meeting because you don’t wait till 2019 before you put your house in order.
“Our Sunday nigth meeting has nothing to do with Mr. President state of health or extension of his vacation but we are more focus this time around than before and I think nobody can stop Alhaji Atiku’s presidential ambition this time around’, the reliable source who pleaded not to be named said.
Another dependable source from the camp of Senator Kwankwaso confided in our Correspondent that despite the running battle the former governor is having with his successor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, strategies are been perfected win the hearts of some APC national leaders ahead the party’s 2018 presidential poll.
The source who made reference to a video clip that went viral on social media recently, showing Kwankwaso addressing mammoth crowd in a stadium in Katsina, said such meeting is to be replicated across the country.
The Kwankwaso loyalist said: “In APC today, nobody can say who is Rabiu Kwankwas because he still has better chances of getting the party presidential ticket in 2018. Even in 2014, he came second. We are meeting to support him on how to realise his ambition.”
When contacted Kwankwaso’s spokesman Abdulsalam Aminu for reaction, he denied that secret political meeting of his boss political ambition has started.
“No. We have not started any meeting to strategies for 2019.”
When asked to speak on the purpose of a meeting held in Kastina last week, Aminu said Senator Kwankwaso’s loyalists were actually in Kastina because a meeting was called by the zonal vice chairman of APC but later realised that the meeting was not meant to discuss Kano APC crisis.
He said: “Knowing Inuha Abdulkadir antics, when he invited other people to the Kastina meeting without the authentic Kano chairman, Engr. Kwankwaso and others smell a rat to know how the North-west vice chairman will do the magic but we mobilised and moved to Kastina stadium very peacefully and we waited for them to know what will be the outcome but when we understood that tbe Kastina meeting was not meant for everybody through a Senator, that nothing related to Kano will be discussed there, we appealed to Engr. Kwankwaso to come and address us which he did within five minutes.”
On Atiku’s part, several attempts to speak with his Media Office were unsuccessful.