by Alexander O. Onukwue
The first campaign poster posted on twitter with which Fayose officially announced his 2019 aspirations goes with a Hausa/Muslim message “Shugaban Naijeriya Insha Allah”.
Fayose wears a cap that bears a resemblance to that worn by President Muhammadu Buhari in his official portrait, perhaps as an indication of his claim that he would take the President’s seat.
— Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) September 13, 2017
Northern Nigeria has 19 states and is the support base of President Buhari. It is nearly impossible to become President of the country without winning significant support from every part of the country. Being a southerner and a Christian, Fayose knows the need to identify with the North and make himself appear as one of their own, and the early signs of his announcement suggest he is prepared to play to the gallery for them.
His choice of beginning on this note could also have to do with dissuading the PDP, as a party, from considering the option of a Northern candidate to stand against the APC’s candidate, presumably President Buhari. By appearing as one who has a reach to the North from the beginning, Governor Fayose hopes to create the impression that he has no impediments from being accepted by that part of the country.
How much of that will be done will be seen as the campaigns progress. It is also to be seen how much of a good reception he will get for doing so.