Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina has described as a misquote the report that President Muhammadu Buhari had pledged only one term presidency and will never seek re-election in view of his age status. President Buhari, 75, had on Monday shortly before he left for London, declared his intention to run for presidential election in 2019. Adesina, who is the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and currently on the entourage of the president to London, was reacting to a contributor on Channel television programme via Skype, on Tuesday.
Yemi Akinbode, who contributed to the programme, said he was not surprised by the president’s declaration in spite of his pledge in 2014 not to seek re-election.“No, that’s misquote, he was never, never quoted that way.“If there is anything on record like that is a misquote because I was with him in South Africa when that issue came when he said, oh, he wished he had become president at the time he was a military governor that he would have done a lot for Nigeria.
“And the other happened in 2011. When he was running in 2011 he said, yes he would be a president for one term. But did he win in that year, no.“The victory came in 2015. So, that being quoted in 2011 is not applicable again because he did not win that year.” Akinbode said: “It didn’t come as a surprise to me. We have seen indications that the president was going to run a long time ago.
“The president in 2014 said that he was only going to run for one term because of his age.” But the presidential aide maintained that it was not on record that Buhari had told the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any member of the party that he would do only one term in office. On the purported vote of no confidence allegedly passed on the President by Northern Elders Forum and the Council for Shariah, Adesina said the two groups had the constitutional right to support anybody vying for political office in the country.
He cited an example of a former president of the country who equally failed to secure the votes in his state and region but ended up winning the presidential election twice. On whether the president had obtained the support of his doctors before making his declaration on Monday, Adesina said Buhari was a responsible man who would never go against the advice of his medical personnel.
He said: “The President is a very responsible man. If there had been any warning, any red light from his doctor, you know, he wouldn’t have ventured into it, unless you are telling me there is something you know that I don’t know.“But I know the President, as a very, very responsible man. If there was any warning he wouldn’t do it.” Adesina, who said that the president took him and other presidential aides unaware when he announced his intention to run for re-election in 2019.
He said the president’s declaration was in reaction to appeals by millions of Nigerians.“Yes, there had been a lot of appeals. I have served in different meetings with different interest groups and all of them want him to run for second term in office.“And do you know that whenever the president reacted to these groups he would speak on all other points they raised except the issue of second term.
“It has been like this in the past one year even before he went for medical vacation, these calls had started coming but Mr President would not say a word and that reinforced my opinion that for him it was not a matter of do or die.“It is just a matter of serving the country and If he feels that he has done it with the best of his ability that is just it,’’ he said.
BREAKING : APC Takes Over Imo House of Assembly As Speaker, 7 Other Lawmakers Dump PDP
At the plenary today in Imo State Assembly, 8 PDP House Members defected to the ruling party APC, thus enabling it to take control of the House leadership.
1. Hon. Dominic Ezerioha
Oru West State Constituency
2. Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri
Oru East State Constituency
3. Hon. Kanayo Onyemechi
Owerri West State Constituency
4. Hon. Kennedy Ibe
Obowo State Constituency
5. Hon. Uche Ogbuagu
Ikeduru State Constituency
6. Hon. Crown Micheal
Ihitte Uboma State Constituency
7. Hon. Eddy Obinna
Aboh Mbaise State Constituency
8. Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins
Isiala Mbano State Constituency (Speaker, Imo state house of Assembly).
Bode George Joins 2023 Presidential Race
Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, has joined the 2023 presidential race.
Freedom Online learned that the former governor of old Ondo State joined the race after three meetings held in Lagos, London in UK and Berlin, Germany.
George, the Director-General (D-G) of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Campaign Organisation in 2006/2007, is still in London “strategizing and meeting some prominent Nigerians on how to actualize the ambition”, said a source.
Although he is still a member of PDP, it is still not clear on which political platform George, the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, will launch the ambition.
Before leaving Nigeria for the London and Berlin meetings, Freedom Online learned that a former President and former Head of State had already endorsed the move to make George succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
This move is based on the partisan calculation that the presidency will move to the South-West.
Some members of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization led by nonagenarian Reuben Fasoranti, are also believed to be backing George’s ambition.
Freedom Online learned that present at the London and Berlin meetings were a former Senate President, a former Chief of Naval Staff, a retired General who had issues with President Muhammadu Buhari when he was Head of State between December 31, 1983, and August 26, 1985, a prominent power broker during the administration of a former president, a former governor of a state in the North-East and two ministers during the Yar’Adua administration.
Freedom Online learned that George, an experienced administrator, orator, and politician, will unveil his presidential plans in the middle of 2020 and “the real fireworks will start in 2021”.
A source disclosed that three committees – Finance, Strategy, and Contact – had already been set up, headed by the former Chief of Naval Staff, a former Minister, and a former South-South governor.
George is a prominent Lagosian, very close to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
A prominent Lagos Prince, Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu, who also confirmed the development, declared that “people may believe it is a joke now but when reality dawns on them, they will wake up.
The truth is that some prominent Nigerians have resolved to back Chief Bode George in the race for 2023. This is real and authoritative. In fact, a group, The Pathfinder Consortium, is already working underground as a foundation for a bigger and more robust national platform to actualize this presidential ambition.
“We can say 2023 is still far away but at the same time, it is not too far. Many stakeholders want real change in the country, politically and economically. This is not about PDP or APC. This is about Nigeria.
“I only attended the Lagos meeting. I was not part of the ones held outside the country so, I can’t really give you details of what happened there. But, I can only tell you that this is a pan-Nigerian movement”.
APC Disclaims Suit to Foist Third Term On Buhari
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a suit seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to run for a third term in office, which was filed by one Charles Enya, whom it described as a self-proclaimed member of the party.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday said the party had initially chosen to ignore him but decided to disavow the suit to send a clear message to Enya and other troublemakers like him.
According to him, the president has said history would not be fair to party members if the APC collapses after his second term, stressing that what better proof is required of the president’s resolve to abide by the constitution on term limit than such a statement.
He said at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, Buhari had assured party members that he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took.
“The party is, however, by this statement sending a strong signal to such other busybodies like Charles Enya who may be contemplating testing the resolve of our government on our mission to work for the best for our country to be ready to face the law.
“We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.
“As a party, we would not take kindly to anyone or group causing an unnecessary distraction for this administration through anti-democratic actions. As a country, we are several years behind where we ought to be,” he added.
The party spokesman noted that the Buhari-led administration is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering good governance, revamping moribund infrastructure, growing the economy, fighting corruption, creating the right environment for teeming youths to deploy their creative energies and providing adequate security for all.
“We have tried to find out the status of this character claiming to be a member of our party. If he turns out to be our member, we would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on this matter promptly commence the process of expelling him,” he stated.
Issa-Onilu said APC as a progressive party would not tolerate anti-democratic forces and charlatans.
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