*Amaechi not appointed reelection campaign chief
By Chesa Chesa
Aso Rock has affirmed that President Muhammadu Buharia��s state of health will be a major factor in his decision to seek re-election or not in 2019.
In an interview in Abuja, his chief spokesman, Femi Adesina, refuted reports that Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has been appointed head of the President’s reelection campaign team as this cannot happen until Buhari emerges a presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC)for the polls.
Buhari has been out of the country three times on lengthy medical vacations since he came to office in 2015, prompting suggestions in some quarters, particularly the opposition that he should step down when his first term ends next year.
Speaking on this, Adesina said: a�?Yes. Health is wealth. Health is wealth. The president is not a frivolous person. If he thinks that his health cannot carry anything, he will not do it.
a�?Of course, his health will matter a lot. It will be very important but we need to give the glory to God for the way he is now. Every day you see the president, you see a glow about him, you see a freshness about him. I think hea��s even in a better state than when he came in 2015. Ita��s all to the glory of God.
a�?So, once he assesses that his health can carry it, therea��s nothing wrong if he steps into the fray. But he has the final decision.a�?
The spokesman added that “we have to wait until he blows the whistle. You cana��t start a race until the whistle is blown. When he blows the whistle and says a�?yes, this is my ambition,a�� then, the race start. For now, we just say that we keep waiting for him to tell us what direction to go.a�?
Responding to calls for Buhari to “the Mandela Option” of one term, Adesina said “this is a democracy. People will always have a right to their opinion. You know one thing about democracy is that there is a multiplicity of opinion.
“So, those who believe in the Mandela option, it is their right. And it is also the right of the president to run or not to run. So, you dona��t abridge the right of anybody under a democracy”.
He further declared that Buhari has done enough to earn himself a second tenure to consolidate on what he has achieved so far since 2015, and that he would of course, wholly support him to do so.
According to Adesina: “Has he done enough? More than enough. In fact, a second term will give him chance to consolidate on what he has done.
a�?The things he has done are apparent: security, despite the challenges of the moment, you cana��t rule out what he has done in security. Economy: economy went into recession, stayed there just for one year, it has come out and the indices are good.
a�?Even the World Bank has projected 2.5 per cent growth for Nigeria this year. So, in the economy, the government is doing well. The economy is like a plane with its nose up. As long as you have a plane with its nose up when ita��s taking off, ita��s good news. Anti-corruption, no friend, no foe. That goes on.
a�?So, those three things he appointed for himself: one, to secure the country, two, to fight corruption, three, to revive the economy, they are going well.a�?
On the reported appointment of Amaechi as Director-General of Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Adesina said that such appointment can only happen only if the president decides to join the fray and emerges as the party candidate which he has yet to do.
a�?Well, me I believe that things like D-G will come when you have become a candidate. If the president steps into the fray now, hea��s an aspirant just like any other aspirant. Having a DG comes when you become a candidate of the party”, he said.
Nonetheless, Buhari would remain committed to bequeathing to Nigeria a culture of free and fair elections, as had already happened in some polls already conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under him, Adesina posited.
He said: “The president has always said, he said it publicly before but those of us who are his aides when we talk, we reiterate it that if it is the only thing he does, he wants to give free and fair elections to the country, elections that are acceptable.
a�?And you would have noticed that since this government came, there have been elections APC didna��t have to win.
a�?It was not like that in the past when a certain party was in power. They won all the elections that were held in states.
a�?But you saw Anambra. Just this weekend, you saw a senatorial election there. Some months ago, in November, you saw the governorship election. If APC had wanted to overrun Anambra using federal might, it would do and it would win the election.
a�?Election had held in Bayelsa under this administration, APC didna��t do it. Ondo, APC won fair and square. Kogi, it won fair and square. Where APC wins, it wins. Where it loses, it loses. Thata��s the attitude of the president. Your party doesna��t have to win by hook or crook.
a�?So, he says if it is the last thing he does, he will leave free and fair elections for Nigeria. So, he will bequeath free and fair election to Nigeria and that is happening.”
*Amaechi not appointed reelection campaign chief