- Lai Mohammed assured the international community that President Buhari was fine
- He admitted the president was ill for a while but now he was stronger
- He expressed optimism in his success in 2019 election
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has assured the international community that President Muhammadu Buhari is healthy and fit to seek re-election in 2019.
Mohammed, who has been on tour of major media houses and think-tank in the U.S., said there was nothing to fear about Buhari’s health as he declared his intention to seek re-election.
The minister was first in Washington, D.C. and later in New York, where he explained that Buhari’s administration had done very well and recorded so many achievements in less than three years.
He visited CNN, New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; Al Jazeera, Reuters, Wall Journal Street, and the Atlantic Council and the Foreign Relations Council.
“I think the exchange has been quite robust. We’ve spoken on a wide range number of issues from security to the economy to the fight against corruption.
“In particular, the interview dwelt more on insecurity and also they were interested to know why the president wants to seek re-election and whether he is fit to run given the concerns about his health.
“Of course, I explained to them that it is those who have a morbid fear about president coming back in 2019 that are flying this kite about his health.
“But his health is very good, since he came back in August, he’s feeling very well, he’s never missed one single Federal Executive Council meeting or cancelled any schedule and his schedules have been very hectic.
“He has faced his presidential duties with vigour, urgency and purpose. Therefore, there’s nothing to fear about his health,” Mohammed said.
According to him, most people have raised the issue of the president’s health, adding many who have raised the issue are not being sincere.
“Mr President, yes was ill, has recovered very well,” the minister stressed adding, “so on the grounds of his health, there’s nothing to fear about his health”.
Mohammed said the president would find his campaign much easier in 2019 because he would campaign on what he has been able to achieve in three years.
“Of course I told them that he’s going to campaign largely about his achievements in the areas of economy, fighting corruption, investing in people and that we are very confident that the people of Nigeria, whose lives has touched, will respond positively.
“And by the time his campaign starts, I think he would have even more to speak about in all the areas he promised during 2015 campaign. “He can beat his chest and say ‘I have delivered on revamping the economy, I have delivered on fighting insecurity, I have delivered in fighting corruption’. “He’s only going to consolidate on these things in his second term,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has finally reacted to the controversial and strong-worded letter the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to him in January.
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In the letter, Obasanjo had asked the president to forget about contesting in 2019, saying doing so would amount to overstretching the tolerance of Nigerians.
He advised Buhari to retire from active public service and take his “role on the sidelines as a statesman”.
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