The Presidency has dismissed the assertion that the masses will desert President

Reacting to the statement by Alhaji Buba Galadima that the masses will abandon Buhari in 2019, the official spokesman, Garba Shehu described the statement as "unfounded and utterly ridiculous."

Galadima, a former national secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) had said ordinary Nigerians were the backbone of Buhari’s mandate "and the only reason he ran for the office is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption who held Nigeria back for decades."

Shehu, however, said Galadima’s calculation and prediction "is utterly confused and misleading."

He said the masses are solidly behind Buhari "because he is not stealing their money and their future.

"The President’s enormous goodwill remains ever-strong because the people are convinced that he is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms."

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According to him, the President is far from isolation and he enjoys very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians; the relationship is as solid as the proverbial rock, he said.

"If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means president is isolated, he is putting himself up to ridicule," Shehu said.

Shehu stated that Galadima is not in the position to speak for the masses as far as their steadfast loyalty to Buhari is concerned.

While acknowledging that Galadima is entitled to advance his own political agenda, the presidential aide said Galadima does not have the right to decide for ordinary voters.

Shehu recalled that Galadima’s disagreement with President Buhari is based on principle, saying that Buhari is committed to level playing field and will not want anyone to link his name to injustice.

The Presidential aide also recalled 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."

He said the President was embarrassed by the incidents and complaints about the imposition and substitution of candidates, adding that he, as a democrat, will not suppress the will of the people to please selfish interests.