A top ranking Aso Villa official has revealed that Buhari will seek re-election in 2019. It's the biggest hint yet
Very little was given away by Aso Villa.
But there's finally some cast-iron proof from the Presidential palace that 73-year-old Buhari who is tending to his health in a London apartment, will seek four more years once he's done with the first four.
It's a likely prospect now.
The hint came from a most unlikely source, but a strong enough one no less.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, still retains the President's trust and confidence, in spite of being linked with ripping off internally displaced persons fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.
At the Unity Fountain in Abuja on Tuesday; where a crowd had gathered to bleat their support for the President in the face of a faltering economy and spiralling inflation, Lawal revealed what everyone has been discussing in hushed tones for a while.
“I’m here to thank you for the support you have been giving to this government. As a government, we are encouraged by your support. It is this type of support that encourages the President to do more.
“We want to assure you that this government is on top of the situation. As much as we understand the challenges that we are facing, there is no cure without medicine.
“It is for no reason that quinine is very bitter, but after you have taken it, you get well. I assure you that by the grace of God, in the next one year, Nigeria will have a booming economy. We know what they were doing to try to sabotage the activities of government to bring Nigeria back to economic prosperity. They will fail.
“Nigeria will never go back to the position it was before 2015. The foundation being laid by the government is solid. And nobody, even after the President has finished his eight years, can ever take us back to the pre-2015 days.”
"His eight years".
Presidency sources have told Pulse in the past that Buhari may consider himself too frail to seek another term, given his health battles.
There have been suggestions in certain quarters that Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai is being groomed for the plum job in 2019.
Neither El-Rufai's camp nor the Presidency has refuted this widespread speculation.
Nigeria's peculiar power zoning formula between North and South, means that two Northerners would be fielded by the two major political parties in the land should Buhari choose not to run again.
The North has to complete its two term of eight years, by the letters of an unwritten zoning agreement.
"It's too early to talk about a re-election. We just want to do the job for which we were elected for four years", a spokesperson in the Presidency who craved anonymity for this story, told Pulse.
But if Lawal's comments are anything to go by, a re-election for Buhari is being mooted and discussed in the Presidency.
And maybe with the President's blessings.
Buhari unseated Southerner Goodluck Jonathan in the spring of 2015 with over two million votes.
Buhari promised to tackle corruption, defeat terrorist sect Boko Haram and provide jobs.
But the President's job approval ratings have been plummeting in recent times following a slump in the global price of oil, a faltering economy and dwindling value of the local currency.