Nigeria News: Will Buhari Ever Run Again?
Nigeria News examine the readiness of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, going by his stamina and condition of health.
It is obvious that the pressure of office has weighed down President Muhammadu Buhari. He confessed on his return from London medical trip that he had never been that sick.
The president is not growing younger and before he assumed office on May 29, 2015, he travelled regularly to treat an undisclosed ailment.
He contested thrice for the position of Nigeria president, participated in many protests against electoral fraud and bad government and never fell so sick to the extent of spending months abroad.
Even though he did not enjoy media attention during those period, Buhari’s personal confession was a testimony that he never stayed so long from home for medicals.
It also obvious that Buhari’s ill health has slowed down government activities in the country. This was not the former Head of State that ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985.
Many would say that his deputy, Gen. Tunde Idiagbon was the one doing the job then, it was clear that Buhari’s script was being acted.
Gen. Buhari was tough, agile and disciplined. His records cannot easily be erased, both good and bad.
He maximized the use of decrees unlike now that the constitution has undermined his military background.
At 74 and with his condition of health, there is little the president can do.
No doubt, President Buhari will be ready to fight on with anti-corruption agenda, it appears that the man lacks the stamina to battle the forces within and outside his government.
Around him are those who are equally ambitious and those who are not but do not like his style. A very good example of those who do not like Buhari’s style is the Minister of Woman Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan.
She is a member of the Federal Executive Council whose heart beats for another ambitious political figure, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Alhassan had boldly rejected Buhari’s second coming for her godfather, Abubakar to take over Aso Villa.
Example of a Buharist who has ambition is the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Though he had refuted the report of having presidential ambition severally, many still believe that El-Rufai wishes to rule Nigeria.
He told journalists on Friday that a group of ministers and governors tagged the Buharists would persuade the president to contest for the second term.
He said that Mr. Buhari is recuperating well and would be able to lead the country for the second term.
He said that Alhassan was never a Buharist and that he warned the president not to appoint her as minister but Buhari would never take his advice.
El-Rufai noted that he had worked with Buhari so closely and observed that he was not a parochial person that would politicize the development of the country.
According to him, president Buhari will not unilaterally sack Alhassan if the minister is working well to move the country forward, no matter the political interest of the minister.
Unarguably, El-Rufai would have loved president Buhari to replace Alhassan if not for her statement but for the fact that the minister is rooting for Abubakar.
El-Rufai and Abubakar have never been on the same page in the recent time. They have both lampooned each other on the pages of newspapers.
Nevertheless, the political pendulum is swinging and if one must judge by the words of Senator Representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani that those who are crucifying Alhassan are the cowards who love Buhari’s seat but lack the audacity to throw their caps into the ring.
He asked Alhassan to resign from the cabinet and focus her attention on her godfather instead of biting the finger that is feeding her.