The former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, has said he was yet to see a formidable opposition that is strong enough to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 general elections.
Adeniyi said this at the review of his book entitled: “Against the Run of Play” at the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) on Thursday.
Addressing the gathering of academics and other professionals who attended the book reading, he identified fragmented opposition as the most important factor that makes incumbent candidates win elections all over the world.
He recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan lost in the 2015 election because the opposition parties came together to form a strong force against him and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
As the 2019 elections draw nearer, the notable journalist said he was yet to see a formidable opposition that is strong enough to defeat Buhari, pointing out that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was already solidly on ground more than one year before the last election.
He said: “I don’t expect anything different in the 2019 elections. I expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will perform better than it did in 2015. I also expect that whoever wants to be president, either the incumbent or challenger, should challenge the process and at the end of the day, we’ll see what happens.
When asked if the massive campaign for Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) can help the opposition in the election, Adeniyi said: “Yes, it can play a part, but what I think basically is that Buhari’s biggest challenger today, is ‘go and get your PVC.’ That is not a candidate. Yes. People will get their PVC but who they are voting for is also important. I like the awareness, I like the consciouness, people are really ready to go out and vote, but it also matters who they are voting for and the platform and what those people are bringing to the table. I know that in 2015, there are people who voted, not for Buhari but just against Jonathan. We may end up with the same situation.”
The reviewer, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, and other participants commended Adeniyi for the thorough research he did on the book as well as the insights he offered readers on what went on in the corridors of power around the last election.
Welcoming participants earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman, ISGPP, Dr Tunji Olaopa, appreciated book lovers and readers whose passion and commitment have given ISGPP Book Readers Club its uniqueness.
He said Adeniyi’s contributions to the literature on Nigerian politics and governance have come to assume unique seminal character.