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Friday, 27 July 2018

2019: “Why Defections Won’t Affect Buhari’s Chances” – Festus Keyamo

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The Buhari Campaign’s analysis of last Tuesday’s defections in the National Assembly also posited that the President won by large margins without the support of those politicians who moved yesterday as it argued that the President did not need them to win his 2015 election and as such, would not need them again.

The Buhari Campaign, in the analysis provided to Vanguard by its Director of Strategic Communications, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, also deposed that the President is making significant gains in several places he lost woefully in the past, notably in the South-South and in the South-East.

The assertions had earlier been dismissed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which through its spokesman Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan described the defections as a signature tune for popular misgivings against the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Keyamo’s analysis

“First of all is that I am not disparaging those who have decided to cross. I am not going to disparage them or belittle their influence. I can only wish them luck in their individual endeavours. As to how their defection will affect the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari, I will say that from the demographics we have, from the historic figures we have and from the present realities that we know, it will have little or no impact on the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“These are the reasons: In 2015, in those states where President Buhari had the largest number of votes that actually tilted the scale in his favour in most of those states, there were either PDP governors or PDP senators. In Bauchi for instance, you had a PDP governor and PDP senators. In Kaduna State, you had PDP senators, PDP governor and a vice-president from Kaduna State. In Jigawa, you had a PDP governor, PDP senators. In Gombe you had a sitting PDP governor, sitting senators and the President won decisively.

“In Kebbi, you had a PDP governor, PDP senator and the President won. In Kogi you had a PDP governor and PDP senators and the President won. In Benue, also, you had a PDP governor and PDP Senate president and the President won.

“In Plateau, he did not win, but made a very good showing and there were sitting PDP senators and governor at that time.

In 2015, the President won many states. In spite of the absence of the structure of a sitting governor and senators, he won decisively.

“Now you have a situation where most of these states and more states, where the President has a sitting governor of APC and you also have senators of APC except one or two that may have defected now. Apart from Kwara, there is no state that had a total defection of all the senators.

“So, you can see that in all those states where one or two senators defected, it is not that they wanted to go, but because they needed to go because the local circumstances and politics did not give them a chance and a choice and if the local circumstances did not give you a chance it means that the tide of local circumstance and politics is against you.

“And if the local circumstances and politics is against you and because in all these cases the governors deliberately allowed them to go that means that for every of such defections there is a calculation of an easy and equal replacement if not better replacement.

“It means therefore that what you see as a loss is actually a gain to the President’s chances. When a party allows you to go when you don’t want to go you should understand that in their local calculation you are of less value than the person they want to use to replace you. So, we may be in for a monumental landslide for President Buhari in 2019.”

“In places where you thought the APC may have lost grounds, there are equal and better places where the APC has made tremendous grounds that will make up for those places where you think they may have lost ground.

“For instance in the eastern part of Nigeria, the heavyweights that are coming into the party, people are not talking of them. Chief Jim Nwobodo, Orji Uzor Kalu, Ken Nnamani, Arthur Eze, Hope Uzodinma and in Anambra State where APC was not a factor before, APC came second in the last governorship election and PDP came third.

“In Anambra State Buhari scored 17,000 votes and in the last governorship election 96,000 and remember PDP scored 660,000 during the 2015 election.

“In the South-South we are making inroads and we retained Edo. We have two senators in Rivers and in Cross River one, and Akwa Ibom has one senator and the state is shaking.

“Even people think that he has lost support in the Middle Belt which I think is not true and all those states in the South-South will easily cover up for that.

“So from all the pluses are 80% and the minuses are about 20%. So in the last three years everything taken together if the losses were to be white and the gains to be red, if you mix them together there will be more of the reds than the whites.”



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