Seven APC governors have asked President Buhari to run for second term. The governors visited the President at the Aso Rock Presidential villa and pledged their support for his yet to be declared second-term bid.
Those present were: Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Yahaya Bello of Kogi and Abubakar Bello of Niger, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe and Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa.
The governors, except Mr Lalong, who is a Christian, attended Friday’s Muslim prayers with the president at the villa. They all later had lunch.
Mallam el-Rufai, the de-facto head of the group had a brief discussion with journalists after the meeting with the president. Mr el-Rufai said they were at the villa because they were politicians. Those of us you see here want the president to contest the 2019 election; we have no apologies for that,” he said.
“We believe in Mr. President, we want him to continue running the country in the right direction. People can speculate about 2019; we have no apologies.”
Mr el-Rufai said the governors wanted “continuity and stability”. “We want the president to continue with that,” he said.
Mr el-Rufai said they were at the state house “by coincidence”.
He added that the governors were pleased by the remarkable improvement in the president’s health. “We went to pray and decided to felicitate with the President and we feel satisfied that anytime we see him, he is getting better and better,” el-Rufai said.
Political analysts were surprised by Mr Bindow’s presence at the meeting. The Adamawa governor is widely believed to have thrown his weight behind his self-confessed benefactor, former vice-president Atiku Abuabakar. Several months ago, Mr Bindow thanked Mr Atiku, who is a kingmaker of sorts in his native Adamawa, for bailing out his ailing gubernatorial campaign with a huge donation of 500 million naira.