No Politician Alive Can Stand Buhari’s Popularity in the North - Doyin Okupe

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AN aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has said that the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is arguably the most popular politician in the northern Nigeria at present.

Okupe stated this in a post on his Facebook wall on Sunday in reaction to muted attempts by some elements within the PDP to field the embattled acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as the substantive chairman in the party’s forthcoming election.

Okupe said if the PDP must win election at the presidential level, it must field a candidate that enjoys a wider appeal across Nigeria, particularly among the northern grassroots like Buhari.
“Presently and for some time to come, General Buhari is the most popular Northern politician and leader alive. He stands and will likely stand shoulders taller than any politician in APC or PDP in that region.”

Fielding Jonathan in 2015 was a monumental error.

Meanwhile, Doyin Okupe, has said that the singular mistake made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the nomination of his boss for second term, despite the ample hint that that the north wanted power back at all cost.

Mr. Okupe said electing the controversial Borno politician would mean repeating the mistake the party made in adopting Goodluck Jonathan as its presidential candidate in 2015.

In a post on his Facebook wall on Sunday, Mr. Okupe, who served Mr. Jonathan as a senior special assistant on public affairs, said the leaders of the opposition party are on the verge of repeating the errors that relegated them from a 16-year political dominance.

“The argument that because the party is weak in the north if the chairman is zoned to the north it will strengthen the party in that zone is a puerile argument,” Mr. Okupe wrote. “It is not supported by fact or history.”

The Ogun State politician added that, because they were in charge of the presidency, he and his colleagues within the PDP underestimated the northern public’s determination to see the post of president returned to the north.

“In retrospect, it is regretful that based on the expedience circumstances of incumbency, we committed a politically fatal error of robbing the north of their turn to have the Presidency in 2015, and we paid dearly for it,” Mr. Okupe said.

“We didn’t know the northerners will be so tenacious in their determination to ensure that they have the presidency back and that is regrettable.”