Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim came under fire yesterday for predicting a loss for President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progresives Congress (APC) in the Northeast in next year’s elections.
His comment does not reflect the reality on ground and he is not speaking for Yobe State and the North east, a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Bukar Lawan, said.
But Senator Ibrahim denied the statements he reportedly made during the public presentation of his book as part of activities to mark his 70th birthday in Abuja at the weekend.
A statement by his media aide Yusuf Ali, quoted Senator Ibrahim, a three-time Yobe State Goveror and three-time senator as saying: “The senator remains a progressive politician who does not encourage rigging and would never have made such a statement like ‘massive rigging will not save APC/Buhari, APC is worse than PDP etc’, after fighting so hard to save Nigeria from the PDP.”
Rep. Lawan, chairman of the House Committee on Sports, told reporters after attending a meeting of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in Lagos yesterday said:
“I feel bad that I am constrained to react to the disturbing comment of one of our leaders in Yobe State, His Excellency, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, who is probably still unhappy with the outcome of the APC primaries because he lost the APC senatorial ticket to outgoing Governor Ibrahim Gaidam. I also didn’t get a ticket like the Senator but we all must make sacrifice for the APC; after all, the party has given us chances to be at the National Assembly. Senator Ibrahim’s wife, who is a minister, is the only member of the Federal Executive Council that succeeded in getting the APC’s ticket to contest election in 2019.
“All other ministers failed in their bids for tickets. I think the Senator is one of the major beneficiaries of the APC. We must know that other people also need opportunities to serve our people. Senator Ibrahim saying that APC will lose in Yobe and the northeast is a joke.
“Any grassroots politician who is very conversant with political feelers in Yobe and neighboring Borno State can tell anyone that come 2019, the APC is coasting to overwhelming victory in these two states and insha’Allah, the whole of Northeast. The PDP is divided in both Borno and Yobe states while the APC is clearly the beautiful bride. So, how can anyone in all honesty raise doubts about the chances of APC in Yobe, Borno and the rest of the Northeast? “Our people are fully with President Muhammadu Buhari; no one can doubt this. Yobe and Borno are among the greatest beneficiaries of the APC because under the PDP, our major problem was the overwhelming attacks of Boko Haram.
“The APC government of President Buhari is squarely fighting the Boko Haram. We are fully with our governors of Borno and Yobe and we are fully behind our governorship candidates Mala Mai Buni (Yobe) and Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum (Borno). We are behind all our national and state assembly candidates and by the grace of God, the APC will record resounding victory in the Northeast.
“I think Senator Ibrahim needs to remember that he is an elder statesman and elders don’t just say anything in public.
“Elders either speak wisely in public or they keep quiet” he said.
The Statement by Senator Ibrahim reads: ”The distinguished Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim has reacted to newspapers reports published and making the rounds in the social media sites that he is a loyal APC party member, a chieftain and an elder statesman. President Muhammadu Buhari is his president, he supported him as he will continue to support Buhari 2019 and even beyond.
”He mean no harm or to disparage the party which he fought so hard to build with other progressives element in 2015 to save Nigeria from drift and the decadence of the PDP.
”Many have given it different interpretations as it suit them, some quoted him out of context for political reasons. What he said is a wake up call for his party to work harder towards the next general elections to win overwhelmingly.
”I want to make it categorically clear that Sen Bukar did not say and will never say, “Mass rigging will not save APC/Buhari, APC is worse than PDP, PMB should not expect Votes from N/East, 2019 Dicey for PMB in N/East, etc as it’s been circulated in the media”.