18 March 2018

Nigeria: Why I Can't Declare My 2019 Ambition Now - Buhari

Photo: The Guardian
President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari says it is too early for him to declare his intention for the 2019 presidential election.

The president said any declaration of his intention now would give the opposition one year to sabotage Nigeria politically, socially and economically.

Buhari, through an interview by his spokesman Mr Femi Adesina at the weekend, explained that he was keeping his intention close to his chest so that the opposition would not throw everything at him to dissuade him from running.

The presidential spokesman said Buhari would declare his intention to seek reelection at a time the opposition could do less damage.

Responding to a question on when Buhari would declare his intention for the 2019 general elections, Adesina said: "You know the peculiarity of Nigeria, particularly now. If the president speaks too early, it's a problem. There is a lot of sabotage in the country.

"You have also heard so many have said 'don't run.' Because they know that if the president runs, other people should just run away because they don't have the foggiest chance in hell to beat him. So, they want to discourage him from running.

"Now, if he tells you 'I'm going to run,' and elections are still one year away, it gives them one year to sabotage the entire country from all fronts - politically, socially, economically - they would throw everything at him just to dissuade him from running.

"So, when you know that, why then do you speak early? I think it makes a lot of sense for you then to keep things close to your chest till it is time for you to then say, 'ok, I'm running' by which time they can do less damage."

Buhari had last month at a meeting with the All Progressives Congress governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja requested for more time to seek the input of more Nigerians on whether or not to seek reelection.

During the meeting, the governors had asked him to run for second term.


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