Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central - APC) has expressed his confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari emerging victorious in the 2019 presidential election off the back of his achievements in his first term.
While speaking during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, September 13, 2018, the lawmaker said the people that believed in the president and elected him in 2015 have not lost faith in him.
Despite lauding the president's first term achievements, Senator Sani said there are certain failures that have not been addressed by the. However, he believes the actions of the opposition, which he describes as a 'positive development', will not have any effect on Buhari's chances who'll contest again on the platform of the All Progressives' Congress (APC).
He said, "I never had a doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the 2019 elections because I believe that there are lots of achievements that could be attached to his stewardship in the last three and half years.
"We can also see challenges and also some failures on certain sides but in the general note, I believe that those who voted in 2015 still have belief and hope in him as someone who can lead them to where they want to be.
"And as for the opposition party, it is a positive development that you have so many people struggling to lead this country; and that is interesting.
"What they have been saying, there is nothing wrong with it because it will keep the ruling party on its toes, but that will not in any way stop the president from emerging as the next leader of Nigeria. And I am of the firm belief that the people on the ground, those who voted him into office, will still vote him again.
"I know that there are challenges which we are facing, there are issues which have not been addressed, but in the general sense, he will still be the favourite candidate for 2019."
When questioned over his political rivalry with Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who's a fellow party member, Senator Sani said everyone has to work together for the greater good of the party especially with the upcoming elections.
"Any person who subcribes to the APC agenda principle and desirous of seeing the victory of the party in 2019 should see this is not the time for internal strife and civil war. This is the time to put heads and hearts together and to win the election," he said.
Sani says national interest made him stay with APC
Despite his several public criticisms of the Buhari administration, Senator Sani did not join the party of dozens of lawmakers that dumped the APC for the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) in July.
Last month, the lawmaker said he refused to leave the party due to national interest which he put over his own personal interests so as to contribute to the nation's progress.
He said, "Well, there is no human being without any grievances but when national interest is put at the front side you have to put aside other parochial interests.
"What we need to do as politicians and as people representing those who elected us is to always put the country first and know very well that we have both constitutional and moral duty to work to the progress of Nigeria and of this government.
"So, I think these are the basic issues which we discussed, grievances are natural but we have to know that we have a country that we need to keep and also we have a country that we need to support, so that it can progress.
"I think the party had made it very clear and known to each and every person that there will be reward for loyalty but in every sense of the word due process of the party needs to be followed.
"And as far as we are concerned, what matters most to us is not simply about automatic ticket but about the peaceful and transparent conduct of the 2019 election and also the very need for us as a people and as a nation to know that the fate of the country is on our hands."
Earlier in August, the senator disclosed that the PDP enticed APC lawmakers with promises of automatic tickets for their re-election bids, but he said he's ready for any competition within the APC.