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2019: Buhari woos Northern religious leaders, scholars •Meet Ulamas, others, seek their support

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Ahead of the 2019 general election, President Muhammadu Buhari may have begun a deft move to win North’s powerful stakeholders, especially the Ulamas, to his side in the bid to get re-elected for a second term.

Indication to this emerged over a meeting the president had with the league of Northern clerics who are highly respected for the control they have over Muslims in the region.

Some of these Ulamas, it was learnt, might have agreed to support  the president, especially following the failure of the  Northern leaders  to endorse him ahead of the 2019 election.

Checks by the Sunday Tribune revealed that the Northern establishment, which mandated an elders’ committee to shop for an acceptable candidate among the aspirants, including Buhari, was divided over the president’s desire to run for another term.

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While some elite  wanted him to continue in office, others were  said to be rooting for a younger candidate with stronger capacity to direct the nation’s growth and unite all the regions.

As a result of the division, the Northern establishment resolved to allow all the presidential aspirants in the region to contest.

Recent findings by the Sunday Tribune indicated  that Buhari had last week held a series of meetings with prominent Islamic scholars about his re-election bid.

Among the prominent Ulamas  that honoured the president’s  invitation were Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, leader of the Quadirriya sect in Nigeria and  Sheikh Bala  Lau, who leads the Izala sect.

President Buhari was also said to have held similar meetings with notable scholars cutting across the 19 northern states.

“And if the feelers we are getting from the meeting is anything to go by, the Muslim clerics may have resolved to support the president’s re-election,” a prominent Islamic scholar,  who was privy to the meeting but told Sunday Tribune that he would only speak on the condition of anonymity, revealed, adding that  the meeting was fruitful as those present  were able to tell the president their minds.

“We told him there is  suffering in the land and he should act fast and  address it. But we understand too that he can’t fix these problems in four years, because the country is too complex for one man to fix  in a jiffy.

“It was a  very confidential meeting with the president. Some of the things we heard from him opened our eyes to the way some of our politicians are toiling with our destinies.

“We understand that  some of the things we were told  are not  for public  consumption, but we were  convinced that the president was on the right track.

‘We all agreed to return to our base and inform our followers that,  like 2015, the region will support the candidature of the president if eventually he emerges as the standard-bearer of the All Progressives Congress.”

Already checks by the Sunday Tribune revealed some of the Friday  mosques in the North  have started preaching about continuity of President Buhari.

In his sermon on Friday, the Chief Imam of the Darul Islam Mosque Rigasa, Kaduna, Sheikh AminuHumda, told the congregation to vote for President Buhari in 2019 .

According to him, ‘those who don’t want to see him return are enemies of the region.

“We prayed for change and God has answered our prayers by the election of Buhari. We believe he is on the right track putting someone else is like dragging us back. He is a man of integrity. We don’t trust the other presidential aspirants,” he said.

The post 2019: Buhari woos Northern religious leaders, scholars •Meet Ulamas, others, seek their support appeared first on Tribune.

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