President Muhammadu Buha­ri has broken his silence on his reelection plan as he de­clared on Monday that Nigerians will support him in 2019.
 
There have growing specu­lations that because of his age, ill-health and poor performance in of­fice, that the President may not seek another term at the State House. Born on December 17,1942, Buhari will by 76 years in 2019.
 
The President, has however, dismissed as “utterly ridiculous and unfounded” the statement that Nigerians would abandon him in 2019 because of his failure to gov­ern the country well.
 
He was reacting to allegations by his former aide and member of his defunct Congress for Progres­sive Change (CPC), Alhaji Buba Galadima, that majority of Nige­rians would not support him if he seeks re-election in 2019.
 
In a statement issued through his spokesman, Malam Garba She­hu, the President asserted that ordi­nary Nigerians are the backbone of his mandate and the only reason he ran for the office is to protect them against the “rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades.”
 
Shehu posited that Galadima’s calculation and prediction were utterly confused and misleading, stressing that ordinary Nigerians were solidly behind Buhari because he is not “stealing their money and their future.”
Shehu said: “The President’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are con­vinced the President is acting in their best interest, despite the tem­porary unintended consequences of reforms.
 
“President Muhammadu Bu­hari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with or­dinary Nigerians. This relationship is as solid as the proverbial Rock of Gibraltar.
 
“If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means that the President is isolated, he is put­ting himself up to ridicule,” he said.
 
While acknowledging that Galadima is entitled to advance his own political agenda, Shehu said the elder statesman did not have the right to decide for ordi­nary voters and could not speak for them as far as their loyalty to Buha­ri is concerned.
 
Shehu disclosed that Buba Galadima’s disagreement with Pres­ident Buhari was based on princi­ple, alleging that the former CPC chief engaged in the unwholesome practice of collecting money from political office seekers in the party to advance their ambitions.
 
He explained that President Buhari was rather committed to ensuring a level playing field and would not want anyone to link his name to injustice.
 
The presidential aide recalled that “Galadima’s disagreement with Buhari started in 2011 when a group within the party, orches­trated an organisational mess by which the CPC embarked on the imposition and substitution of can­didates for cash payments at the ex­pense of those duly and democrat­ically elected”.