The All Progressives Congress has expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari will coast to victory in the 2019 elections despite the gale of defections that has hit the party within the last few weeks.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Yekini Nabena, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, on Sunday.
He was responding to a question on the possible effect the exit of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, on the party’s fortunes come 2019.
Nabena explained that most of the politicians who left the APC to join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party lacked the clout to mobilise any reasonable opposition to the President’s re-election bid.
He explained that the connection the President had with the grassroots would always stand him in good stead in any election.
The APC Spokesman said, “I can tell you authoritatively that the defections will not affect President Buhari’s re-election.
“It is public knowledge that Saraki’s popularity is limited to Kwara State. He does not have any power to determine what happens in Kogi or any other state in the North-Central where the President still enjoys substantial support.
“He also has to contend with the latest agitation among the people who are now questioning what he has done for the state in the last 15 years.”
“When you talk of Governor Tambuwal, you all know that he is not in control of Sokoto State. His godfather, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, whose structure he used to become governor, is still with us.
“For emphasis, in Sokoto, the Deputy Governor, we have two senators, nine members of the House of Representatives, 12 out of the 30 state House of Assembly members and the massive supporters in the state.
“For Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, he has to contend with those who have been working to build the PDP in that state.
“He has to also prove that Senator George Akume is not a household name in Benue. Time will tell who controls Benue.
“As for other defecting lawmakers, most of them must get the tickets to run first, while it is almost certain that most of them will not win their re-elections because other vibrant candidates who are eager to replace them for the positive development of the country have emerged.”