Health is a factor in Buhari’s 2nd term ambition—Aide

Buhari, Na'Abba

…He lacks capacity to govern Nigeria–Na’Abba

The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina has said health will be a major determinant for President Muhammadu Buhari to decide whether to seek re-election in 2019 or not.

Speaking in an interview, Adesina said the president would not do whatever he believed his health could not sustain.

“The President is not a frivolous person. If he thinks that his health cannot carry anything, he will not do it.

“Every day you see the President, you see a glow about him and you see freshness about him. I think he is even in a better state than when he came in 2015. It’s all to the glory of God.

“Once he assesses that his health can carry it, there’s nothing wrong if he steps into the fray. But he has the final decision.”

The presidential aide urged Nigerians to wait for the President to tell them his position on the second-term issue.

On a recent media report that Buhari has re-appointed the minister of transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, as the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Adesina said such an appointment could only be made after a candidate had emerged.

“I believe that things like the director general will come when you have become a candidate. If the President steps into the fray now, he is an aspirant just like any other aspirant. Having a director general comes when you become a candidate of the party,” he argued.

He claimed Buhari had done more than enough to seek re-election, saying “The things he has done are apparent: security, despite the challenges of the moment, you can’t rule out what he has done in security.

“Economy went into recession, stayed there just for one year, it has come out and the indices are good. Even the World Bank has projected 2.5 per cent growth for Nigeria this year.

“Three things he appointed for himself: one, to secure the country; two, to fight corruption; and three, to revive the economy. They are going well.”

He reiterated Buhari’s promise to deliver free and fair elections to the country, stressing that the President fulfilled the promise in all the elections conducted under his watch.

“You would have noticed that since this government came, there have been elections the All Progressives Congress (APC) didn’t have to win. You saw Anambra. You saw a senatorial election there. Some months ago, in November, you saw the governorship election. If APC had wanted to overrun Anambra, using federal might, it would have done that to win the election.

“Election had held in Bayelsa under this administration, the APC didn’t do it. Ondo, the APC won fair and square. Kogi, it won fair and square. Where the APC wins, it wins. Where it loses, it loses. That’s the attitude of the President. Your party doesn’t have to win by hook or crook.”

Meanwhile, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, said Buhari lacks the physical and intellectual capacity to govern Nigeria and vowed not to him in his bid to be re-elected in 2019.

Mr. Na’Abba stated this during an interview with a TV presenter, Osasu Igbinedion, where he also revealed that Buhari had in November 2017 disclosed to the members of the Board of Trustees of the APC that he would seek re-election.

The former speaker, who is a member of the board, explained that he left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling APC in order to support Buhari, but said he is now disappointed with the outcome as the president “has not added even an inch of value to democracy.”

“From his utterances, I believed he wanted to improve democracy. This is three years into his administration, he doesn’t work with the party, he regards party members as evil; he doesn’t consult anybody in the party.

“I had the occasion to sit down with the president and tell him this is what is wrong. And all he told me was that things were wrong before but now, with his election, everything is right. And I was very, very disappointed.

“He promised to reconstitute the boards. Before, he refused to do that because he thought politicians are responsible for all the evils in this country. He also promised to increase the number of ministers. In a nutshell, the president has not added value to democracy by an inch. It is only when there is democracy and competence that every Nigerian, regardless of who they are, will be able to make it on life. There is no way I can support him”, he said.

When asked if the APC would produce another presidential candidate other than Buhari, Mr. Na’Abba said some party members have “hijacked and pocketed the party.”

He distanced himself from those endorsing the president for a second term.

“Nigerians have chosen democracy as the system within which they produce their leaders, and that any president who comes must ensure that the democratic architecture is improved substantially because it has been weak, it is still weak and will continue to be weak.

“They said they have endorsed him to contest. I am sure they did not ask the opinion of anybody since they have put the party in their pocket,” he said.

He added that, “there is no democracy in the country and no democracy in the party as well,” and that, “Nigerians are in serious trouble.”



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