- Presidency replies Buba Galadima on his suggestions that Buhari would be abandoned by his party if he decides to contest in 2019
- Garba Shehu describes such speculations as unfounded and utterly ridiculous, saying that the president enjoys strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians
- He also recalled the Galadima's disagreement with Buhari, which started in 2011
The presidency has denied reports that Muhammadu Buhari would be alone if he decided to run for the presidential office in 2019.
Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman, in a statement made available to NAIJ.com, said that 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.
The presidency reacted to the allegations by a former CPC member, Alhaji Buba Galadima that President Buhari would be abandoned by the people in 2019.
On his own part, Mr Shehu defined his suggestions as unfounded and utterly ridiculous, adding that Galadima's calculation and prediction is utterly confused and misleading.
He said the masses are solidly behind Buhari because the incumbent president is not stealing their money and their future, that 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.
The statement reads in part: “President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians. This relationship is as solid a the proverbial rock. If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means the president is isolated he is putting himself up to ridicule.
“Galadima cannot speak for the masses as far as their steadfast loyalty to Buhari is concerned. While acknowledging that Galadima was entitled to advance his own political agenda and didn't have the right to decide for ordinary voters.”
The presidential spokesman recalled that Buba Galadima's disagreement with President Buhari was based on principle. He clarified that the Nigerian leader is committed to level playing field and would not want anyone to link his name to injustice.
Shehu added 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.
“Muhammadu Buhari was embarrassed by the incidents and complaints about the imposition and substitution of candidates, adding that he, as a democrat, would not suppress the will of the people to please selfish interests. Consequently, he dispensed with the service, such as they are, of Buba Galadima; ran and won the 2015 Elections without them. Let Buba Galadima go to his constituency, stand for election and see what will happen to him,” concluded Mal. Garba Shehu.
Meanwhile, the former president Goodluck Jonathan has denied his interest to run for the presidency in 2019.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on November 20, called him an icon and added that Nigerians earnestly yearned for his return to government.
Goodluck Jonathan, who turned 59 on November 20, was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2015 election.