Is Mohammed Bazoum the next President of Niger Republic?
By Olawale Rasheed with agency reports
Niger republic ,Nigeria neighbour up north is preparing for new electoral circle.The incumbent leader,Muhammadu Issoufou will be completing his term of office by the end of 2020. A successor widely visible appears to be from the ruling party especially as the opposition is evidently in disarray.
President Issoufou after a turbulent second term victory had consolidated his rule so solidly that many had thought he would not quit after second term.The fear was widespread that the President may follow the likes of Guinea and Ivory Coast. Surprisingly ,Issoufou debunked such possibility ,affirming his readiness to abide by the constitution and allow a successor through electoral process.
Niger republic is one of the poorest nations in Africa with deep security challenges.Yet,Issoufou had built an international reputation as a multilateral player who while remaining entrenched with the French is at home with Germany,China and other top nations of the world. His records at the international stage may earn him a high profile international job after quitting office.
But who succeed him? Already the ruling party had elected a candidate in person of the interior minister who is also the chair of the ruling party,PNDS,Mohammed Bazoum.With incumbency factor and weakening of the opposition,Bazoum is rated highly as a likely successor. This may be too early to say but the opposition is so fragmented and divided except if its leaders can muster faith to unite before it is too late. It is however even getting too late.
Bazoum’s visibility is quite an advantage. His trip to Agadez presents an image of electability.Only this week he was on a tour of party structures in the Agadez region. Reports from the trip confirms his popularity among the people.
After the commune of Gougaram, he spent the night in Arlit where he had a great meeting with the militants of the pink party. At the end of this hike,it was obvious that in Agadez, as in other regions, the PNDS are more than ever mobilized to ensure a brilliant victory for the Pink Party and its candidate,BAZOUM at the next electoral consultations.
After the word of welcome by the President of the ARLIT section, the honorable deputy Bachir Abdoulaziz, Bazoum, in his speech, spoke a lot about the issue of road infrastructure from which this region suffers. He reaffirmed the commitment and the promise of the President of the Republic Mr. Issoufou Mahamadou to the local populations to provide this region with paved roads before the end of his mandate.
Then the President of the National Executive Committee and candidate of the PNDS reassured the activists that this promise is partially kept because the works will begin shortly on all the road axes and the necessary funding is already available.
The second day of this courtesy visit to activists from the Socialist Party began in the village of Dannet where a large meeting was held at the headquarters of the Pink Party.Then the delegation continued its journey to the town of Tchirozerine where it arrived around 2 p.m.It was a warm welcome and an enthusiastic crowd along the way to the party headquarters where a large public awaited the delegation of the President of PNDS TARAYYA.
After several speeches, the President of PNDS,Bazoum thanked the comrades for this unprecedented mobilization and this vitality which demonstrates the solidity and the anchoring of the party at the local level.He told them that his mission is part of a long-standing tradition, recalling that President Mahamadou at the time he was President of PNDS TARAYYA always visited activists of the socialist party to investigate their daily newspapers and listen to their concerns and also to understand the real problems of deep Niger.
“I did not come to give a political speech, I came to see you, discuss with you and also discuss the life of our party and the challenges facing our country,” he said.He added that the initial mission of a political party was to educate its members and always be in contact with the local population to promote its vision and political ambitions for sustainable development and an emerging society.
The delegation arrived at around 7 p.m. in Agadez where a huge crowd stormed the entire route, shouting Bazoum ghass 2021, say BAZOUM 2021.The delegation continued its journey towards tabelot where he spent the night from Sunday to Monday.
Aziz Mousa who was present described the visit as follows :
“In this locality in the heart of the Aïr massifs, the activists of #PNDS_TARAYYA who strongly mobilized to welcome the President of the party made a point of reaffirming during a great meeting of exchanges and reflections at the headquarters of the socialist party commitments for an overwhelming victory for PNDS TARAYYA in the future elections.
“This proximity tour which brought the President of PNDS TARAYYA and the accompanying delegation to Abardek at the foot of Mount Bagazam, in the Agadez region augurs well for the prospects of a brilliant victory for Bazoum in the next presidential election.Party supporters look very elated and the mobilization of the men was in the best pure Targui tradition.
“It was quite comforting and exciting to experience these moments of communion between the candidate and his supporters, from Arlit through Dannet, Tchirozerine, Tabelot to the foot of Mont Bagazam where everywhere the essential message we heard was is ” Bazoum gass ”, in other words ” Bazoum only ”.
It was a tour that could not be more rich in lessons and colors which confirms the idea that the PNDS is more than ever in battle order for more scope on the national political chessboard”,Abdoul Aziz Moussa who was present reported.
Many analysts however think it is too early to make a judgement. What is truly self evident now is that Mr Bazoum is a strong contender for Nigerien presidency come 2021.