Presidency Refutes Reports, Says Buhari Respected by International Community…
The international community, led by the European Union, the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia, has allegedly advised president Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019 reports Daily Independent.
According to report, reasons for the stand against his re-election by the international community were first based on his health condition and the fears that the current division that exist in the country may increase if he is re-elected.
The president who is currently on a 10- day leave vacation in the United Kingdom is also suspected to extend his stay by 11 more days to allow him reconsider on some of these issues the reports states.
The newspaper said it had feelers from reliable sources within the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) that confirmed its claims. One of the sources stated thus:
“From the feelers we are getting, President Buhari may opt out of the 2019 presidential election. There is serious pressure on him from the international community, especially the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom (UK), and even Saudi Arabia.” the report states.
It would be recalled that shortly before his departure to the UK, the president had appealed to his supporters across the nation to suspend campaigns for his re-election in compliance with the electoral law, saying it had come to the realisation of the presidency that his supporters had started campaigns through advocacies and placement of advertisements in the media.
A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), who also confirmed the development, said there was a possibility that the president might not seek re-election.
According to him, that was why loyalists of the president were considering Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, who served as Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) from 2007 to 2008 under the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, as a possible alternative.
“Yes, I am aware of the development though it is not something that is being discussed at the party level for now. For now, it is not a serious issue because one, the president has not made up his mind whether to continue with his re-election plans or do a single term or bow out.
Two, the party, for now, is trying to put its house in order, given the gale of defections among parties and issues surrounding the Senate Presidency. Once these are settled, we will now shift our focus on issues surrounding the 2019 presidential election. But one thing I know is that ever since the president announced his desire to seek re-election at the party’s NEC meeting in April, there has been serious pressure on him, especially from the international community, to rescind his decision and that is why some power brokers in the presidency are already considering Babagana Kingibe as an alternative if the president decides not to run.”
Also speaking, a close ally of the president said he was considering Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, as his choice but added that his loyalists are afraid that Sirika is too immature for the job.
Presidency Refutes The Reports
The Presidency on Tuesday said there was no truth in the media report that some foreign powers were putting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement made available to journalists.
The presidential spokesman said contrary to the report, Buhari was being held in high esteem in the countries mentioned in the report.
He said because Buhari is not flippant, he gave a deep thought to the prospect before announcing his bid for a second term in office.
Adesina added that it is only those who fear electoral loss that are trying to dissuade the President from running by all means.
He said by claiming that it got feelers that Buhari may opt out of the 2019 presidential election, the newspaper embarrassed itself.
The statement read in part, “We thought fake news was the sole preserve of the social media in this season. Alas, a traditional medium has caught the bug. Obviously, the author of the story just got a brainwave, or got procured by anti-democratic elements, and then penned the mischief.
“If there are quarters in which President Buhari is held in very high esteem, and the work he is doing for Nigeria highly lauded, it is in the countries mentioned. Some of them are equally bastions of democracy, and will not interfere in the democratic affairs of a sovereign country. The newspaper should simply tell its story to the marines.
“President Buhari is not a flippant or frivolous individual. He gave deep thought to the prospect, before announcing his bid for a second term in office.
“It is only those who fear that their goose would be cooked, if they meet with him at the polls, that are trying to dissuade him from running by all means, including sponsored newspaper stories.”