As tussle for the emergence of the Presidential flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) hots up, two likely aspirants from the North-west, former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, and Kano state Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, appear set to battle it out over who picks the votes from the zone.
Both politicians have expressed interest in running for the highest office in the land and are currently mobilising support in aid of their ambition.
While Governor Kwakwanso has already gotten about four groups canvassing for support for his presidential ambition, pro-Buhari groups and affiliate loyalists from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) are daily mounting pressure of the former Head of state to take another shot at the presidential contest.But an aide to Buhari who spoke to THISDAY yesterday evening on the plans of his boss confirmed that the former Head of state will go ahead and launch his presidential bid as soon as he returns from an overseas trip.
In the last few weeks, leaders of APC in the North-west have tried to broker an agreement between the aspirants so as to enable the zone to present one consensus candidate at the party presidential primaries.
THISDAY gathered that during one such meetings held recently in Kaduna both sides tried explore the possibility of a working relationship which could see one of them withdrawing from the race and supporting the other.
Although there was major agreement reached at the meeting, insiders at the talks described it as purely exploratory engagement which may later materialiase into a consensus-building arrangement.However, between the duo exists a generational difference which loyalists of Governor Kwakwanso hope to exploit to advantage. Already sources revealed that the governor has started acquiring campaign vehicles and branding them in readiness for deployment for the presidential race.
According to a top member of the Kwakwansia Ambassadors of Nigeria (KAN), Yusuf Danjuma, what the governor’s loyalists are pushing for is to get Buhari to buy into the idea of giving a younger and credible politician from the north a chance to contest the 2015 presidential election.
He explained that the reason for the present clamour is for a younger and more electable candidate to emerge from the north since Buhari appeared to have been branded a religious bigot by opponents and politicians from the South who are bent on using such negative appellation to once more run down his campaign during the election.
Speaking on the prospect of Kwakwanso running for the APC presidential ticket, Danjuma said the Kano governor is presently under immense pressure to gun for presidency.
“The pressure on the governor to contest for presidency has gone beyond his control. Many individuals and groups are urging him to step out and these support groups are cut across geo-political zones of the country,” he said.
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