By Omotilewa Quadri
The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, declared on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari will run for a second term in office come 2019. This is even as reports emerged that the Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has been appointed as Director-General of the President’s re-election campaign.
Already, Amaechi, who led Buhari’s campaign in 2015, according to reports, has been issued a letter of appointment for next year’s election and is expected to make an official announcement on his appointment anytime soon.
Shittu told reporters yesterday after a meeting with the President at Aso Villa that he had been appointed to lead a group in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 election.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group will on January 20 inaugurate its Southwest zonal office to launch the President’s reelection battle.
He said for Buhari to seek a second term “goes without saying”.
“I know he has not made up his mind but I can say that some of us can assist him in making up his mind so that Nigeria can continue to enjoy stability and progress.
“I mean if you have a child who goes to primary school, does well, proceeds to secondary school, does well, and you keep asking, is he going to university? It goes without saying. By the grace of God, we his ardent supporters who appreciate his worth on behalf of millions of Nigerians would urge him to recontest,” he said.
Asked whether campaigns for 2019 elections had begun, Shittu said, “Everyday since he came into office, all his activities are geared towards letting Nigeria know they have a saviour, a rescuer, somebody who is committed to providing relief to Nigerians in all respects.
“In the area of fighting corruption, insurgency, whether in the Northeast or the Niger Delta, in the area of repairing the economy and providing jobs and providing social stability in the society. You will agree with me that today but for Buhari, Boko Haram would have invaded even Lagos.”
Shittu, who hails from Oke Ogun, Oyo State, plans to run for governor in 2019, having previously failed as the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011.
Twice last year, Buhari had hinted at a possible presidential re-run. He first did so during a summit on counter-terrorism in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and again in November 2017 when he visited Kano State on a two-day working visit.
During the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, an attempt to move a motion endorsing Buhari’s 2019 candidature stalled.