By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Presidency at the weekend said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot declare his ambition in next year’s presidential election yet, because opponents could cash in on it to sabotage the country.
Despite calls on him not to seek re-election in the 2019 polls, President Buhari had recently provided some ambiguous hints on the possibility of his readiness to throw his heart into the ring.
According to the Presidency, however. If he spoke too early about his ambition, it might give ammunition to unnamed opponents to throw everything at him and sabotage the country.
Special Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja at the weekend, said the president cannot speak with the election still about one year away because he knows the consequences.
Asked when the president will declare his intention, the presidential spokesman 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, others people should just run a way 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.”
The president had in November last year while speaking with some members of the Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire that he came to the meeting with two governors so that their people may vote for him in future.
While apologizing for turning up late at the occasion, he said: “First, I want to apologize for keeping you for too long seating. This is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting.
“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up.”
On his recent visit to Benue state over herdsmen killings, he had also said at a stakeholders meeting that he could only make promises to them when he returns there for campaign if indeed he will be coming for campaign.