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Monday, 13 November 2017

No Crack in Buhari Support Groups; Senator denies rumors of crack among the group.

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Senator Abu Ibrahim who is the  The Coordinator National Committee for Buhari Support Groups, on Monday dismissed the insinuation of a crack in the groups.

Senator Ibrahim, who represents Katsina South Senatorial District, also described as “insulting” the allusion that his committee was going round collect money from governors.

He noted that the aim of his committee was to stimulate all Buhari support groups for a common purpose as was the case before the 2015 general elections.

Ibrahim who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, said that there were over 198 groups that worked for President Buhari before 2015 elections out of which about 23 had national spread.

He said that the talk of a crack was the handiwork of political jobbers who wanted to create a non-existent crack.

Insisting that there is nothing like crack in his group, the four time senator noted that the group condemning them is affiliated with the All Progressives Congress (APC) while they are not.

On the stigmatization that the support group was moving round collecting money from governors, he noted that apart from Katsina Governor, Aminu Masari, who assisted them, the group has not received a dime from any other governor in the country.

He said, “It is insulting to claim that I went out to collect money. I am a fourth time senator and I am too big to go round and be asking for money. It was only one governor who assisted us and that is Bello Masari of Katsina State.

“When he saw what we were doing, he assisted us. That is the only person I know who gave us donations. If there is any governor who gave us money, let him speak up.

“People are going round to collect money and they think we are like them. How can one retired ambassador tell me who has won elections four times that he is a better politician than me?

“That is a bloody lie. These people are political jobbers. They are the ones going round and collecting money. They think we are doing the same thing and going into their market. We are not.”

Asked to talks of a crack in the Buhari support groups Ibrahim said “First, I think there is a misconception. I have known Buhari for almost forty years. That is since my secondary school days. I have known him since he started playing politics. So, I know him personally. I know his political platform very well. After the 2015 elections, I went to the President and told him something.

“I told him that he is the only most popular Nigerian to have won elections since the formation of Nigeria. Buhari won in almost every part of Nigeria.

“From my understanding, there are thousands of support groups that aided his election. I told him that we should not allow them to dissipate.

“I am giving you a brief history of a meeting I had with Buhari almost two years or over I think. So, he thought it was a good idea. We decided to determine those who are around and determined. He agreed. We went to all the 39 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

“I first went to someone, but I will not mention his name. He gave me two people to work with. I told the two people that I needed them to go all over the states and determine these groups.

“They took the names of all the existing Buhari support groups. Even some in Hausa were also compiled. When we finished, I took the list to Buhari. That was how we agreed that we should set up something like a committee to always talk to these support groups. That was how we came up with the name National Committee for Buhari Support Group.

“When we started collating the names, the President fell sick. But we continued. We went to almost all the geopolitical zones. We also did something to showcase Buhari’s achievements and promises he has made during the campaign which he has fulfilled.

“We did something on anti-corruption, insurgency and economy. This documentary was aired on television and radio stations. The essence of reactivating this group was because we felt we could use them to showcase the achievements of the government. It was this report that we went to submit to President Buhari that Friday. He appreciated it. We did not create anything new. We are helping the APC and not in contradiction with the party.

Reminded that Buhari is a member of the APC, he snapped, “What about Kwankwaso? Is he not a member of APC? He is grooming to be a President. What about Atiku? Is he not also running for the same office? We are looking out for Buhari’s groups that ensured he won. We want to appreciate them. We want to utilise them and use them for government campaigns if need be. We have not discussed the issue of 2019 yet.”

On whether the groups are being reactivated for 2019 elections he said, ”They are not. I have told you that these groups did not just start today. They worked for us in 2015 and we are only appreciating them now.

“At the beginning of the administration, we thought it will be wise to appreciate the people who worked for us. There are over 198 groups. About 23 had national spread, while the rest were local. There is a misconception that this was done because of 2019. That assertion is wrong. As I have said, we ought to have done this earlier, but the President took ill and was down for about six months. That slowed it down, but we did not stop.”

On the report that he has been tipped as a minister, Ibrahim said that nobody has told him of his nomination as a minister.

He however added that every senator and member of House of Representatives is qualified to be minister “but nobody has told me anything.”

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