By Clifford Ndujihe & Charles Kumolu
Buhari’s ‘one term’ offer in 2011 no longer applies
•Buhari’s ‘one term’ offer in 2011 no longer applies
We are not bothered by his one term promise — Babatope
•Buhari didn’t sign one term social contract with Nigerians— Chekwas Okorie
LAGOS—SPECIAL Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said yesterday that his principal’s 2011 statement that he would be president for one term was not applicable anymore.
Speaking on ‘Sunrise Daily’, a Channels Television programme, Adesina said Buhari entertained pleas to re-contest as president for the past one year before declaring his intention.
declaration – PDP
He said: “The other one of running one term was in 2011. When he was running in 2011, he said, yes, he would be a president for only one term but did he win in that year? No. The victory came in 2015. So what is being quoted from 2011 is not applicable again.
“There were a lot of convincing and appeals. I sat in different meetings with different groups involving the President and the reason all of them came was that they wanted him to run for a second term in office.
“Do you know that whenever the President reacted to these groups, he will speak on every other thing but on the issue of a second term; he will not say a word and that has been in the past one year. These calls have started coming and he didn’t say a word. That reinforced my opinion that for him, it is not a do-or-die affair, it is just a matter of serving the country.”
The declaration and governance
Noting that the President’s declaration for a second term would not affect governance, Adesina said: “I think the President had just picked the right time to make his intentions known, whether it will affect governance or not depends on the personality of who is the president.
“Don’t forget that under Obasanjo, when the process was affecting governance, he read a riot act and said let’s concentrate on governance. President Buhari is just somebody like that, he will never allow politicking to affect governance.”
He said the President may be re-elected based on his achievements in security, reviving the economy and fighting corruption.
“There are certain things that he set out to do. Normally, it comes up under three broad umbrellas. One is securing the country, two is fighting corruption, three is reviving the economy and I have said it in all three areas, there are successes. The willfully blind will never see, even if you put the thing right in front of his eyes. We are not talking to the willfully blind or deaf,” Adesina said.
Mr Adesina’s comments immediately drew reactions from some politicians, who said it was immaterial to the 2019 election.
We’re not bothered by his one-term promise – Babatope
Former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said: “Let us not fault Buhari on that statement because this is a democracy. And in a democratic system, he has the right to two terms in office. For us in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the number of terms he wants to spend does not matter. We are confident that we will defeat him in 2019. All we are saying is that Nigerians should join us to send them out because the APC government has failed. They promised to fight corruption but corruption lives in them. They failed to fulfill any of the promises they made.”
It’s the end of the road for Buhari, APC – Okorie
National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie, said with Buhari as the candidate, the APC will lose power, next year noting that whatever commitment President Buhari made on single term is between him and the APC because “it is not a social contract with Nigerians. Afterall, former President Jonathan had such promise and denied it.”
He continued: “President Buhari’s party does not feel he has an obligation to keep. They are the ones urging him to re-contest. What concerns Nigerians is whether the man who has given Nigerians nightmares and his government has been a disaster should be allowed to continue.
“I sympathise with the APC for the misfortune of having to grapple with the political liability of presenting President Buhari to the Nigerian electorate for the 2019 Presidential Election. Buhari’s presidency is both a nightmare and a monumental disaster. It is the end of the road for him and the APC. I foresee a devastating political humiliation to Buhari and his party. The battle line is drawn.
“The opposition is negotiating a grand coalition, which the UPP is part of. Buhari’s government, if allowed to continue, will kill Nigeria. He does not believe in restructuring and growing the economy. His attitude to governance is dictatorial and he has aroused ethnic, regional and religious consciouness once again, which will influence the 2019 election.”
Buhari has to prove he deserves re-election – Osuntokun
On his part, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, former Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said President Buhari’s aspiration was still a speculation. “When he has the courage to confirm the speculation, he would tell us what he has done to merit re-election. He would be required to clearly enunciate the record on which he wants to run for second term. He would have to clarify how his incumbency and the APC government have proven a better alternative to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan with whom they steadfastly compare record of failures-not achievements.
“He would be reminded how a non partisan credible international organisation-Transparency International, has rated his government’s record on corruption worse than his much maligned predecessor.
“Above all, we would acknowledge that he has done his best but that best is demonstrably below par. We would encourage him that at the realistic estimated age of 80 years or above, he should heed the charitable advice of his doctor to return to Daura not later than May 29, 2019, to eat more and sleep more,” he said.
Osuntokun continued: “The President publicly confessed that old age is a drag and limitation on his capacity to function. How does this old age debility factor support his aspiration for second term? Beyond what he said is the evidence of the health crisis that kept him away for over four months-and the numerous half or a third a day schedule he was forced to keep by ailing physical health. The resurgence of Boko Haram and the escalating herdsmen militia crisis are the main evidence you need to rate his success in security.”
He should check reactions of Ngerians to his declaration – PDP
Reacting to the comments of the Presidency, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the presidency to read the mood of Nigerians.
“They should read or check the reactions and inclinations of Nigerians to President Buhari’s declaration to go for second term. I won’t say more than this,” he said.