Is Fayose declaring for 2019 to ward off Atiku?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

It could be that Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state has announced his aspiration to run for the Presidency under the PDP in order to ward off Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

There has been much conversation over the past two weeks about the interest of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in running for the Presidency in 2019.

One of the two reasons why it has become increasingly likely that he will run for the office is his comments about being sidelined by President Buhari and the APC after helping contribute to the victory of 2015. Atiku has also aimed thinly veiled digs at the Buhari administration for the state of the economy and the inability to finish off Boko Haram.

The only thing holding back, it appears, is making a choice of party on whose platform to contest the polls.

On one hand, Atiku still holds on to his place in the APC with the possibility that President Buhari may decide against a second term. Minister of Women Affairs Aisha Alhassan alluded to a supposed agreement by the President that he was going to only lead for one term, and that he has not communicated intentions for a second term. In that case, it would place Atiku in prime position to get the party’s nomination if Buhari is not in the running.

But Buharists say no such agreement was ever reached and that their leader will run again in 2019. In that case, Atiku would have to seek a destination for his ambition, the most obvious being the PDP.

By declaring his intention, Fayose may be passing the message that the PDP does not need to and should not welcome Atiku back to the party. If he is able to make himself bold and known, it would probably make it difficult for Atiku to storm through and gatecrash the PDP into making him their nominee.

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