In spite of his health troubles, President Buhari may seek another term of office in 2019, a top ranking aide has disclosed to Pulse
Nigeria holds a general election to choose a new president in 2019; with the tenures of the incumbent and those of a host of other elected representatives up for grabs in a few months.
There is already a fierce jostle for power behind the scenes, with a host of candidates lining up to replace the ailing Buhari who has embarked on medical trips abroad thrice in the last two years.
Political pundits and opposition figures say Buhari, who is entitled to seek re-election once his first term winds down in 2019, will be too frail and remains medically unfit to affix his name on the ballot.
In an exclusive chat however, an aide of the president told Pulse that after observing Buhari from close quarters since his return on August 19, the Daura born former General has not only fully recovered from an undisclosed ailment, he’s got one more grueling electioneering campaign in him.
Pulse was told that the Nigerian leader is in fine fettle and rude health.
“Buhari is fine. He is very, very fine. He is stronger than he was shortly before he left Nigeria for London”, the top ranking Aso Villa official told Pulse.
Pressed on whether Buhari has fully recovered and if Nigerians should be worried about seeing their president take to the skies soon to tend to his health troubles, the aide shot back:
“Buhari even runs these days. That’s how fit he is. He has fully recovered. The Doctors didn't keep him in London this long just to have him return there after only a few days.
“Buhari is strong enough to run in 2019. He is physically strong enough for the rigours of another electioneering campaign. Yes. I believe he is even stronger now. Buhari isn’t the kind of person to act drama—to put up a show for the cameras. I worked with Buhari during the electioneering campaign of 2015. I knew how he was, up close and personal and I know how he is now".
Pulse pressed this aide on whether his comments should be taken as an official confirmation that Buhari will seek another term in office.
“He may decide not to run or otherwise. It's still early days. But from what I see, he looks ready to run”, the official said.
Presidential spokespersons Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina were not immediately available for comments for this story.
Buhari was elected Nigeria President in March of 2015 and was sworn-in in May of the same year.
The retired Army General won the poll on the platform of the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) which gave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a run for its money at the first time of asking.
In a gentleman’s agreement, the Nigerian presidency often rotates between a Christian dominated South and a Muslim dominated North.
Buhari, a Muslim from the majority North, is expected to see out a two term of eight years in spite of his health concerns.
The Nigerian leader is yet to announce his intention to seek re-election. He is also yet to refute speculations suggesting he’ll seek another term of office.
However, campaign posters declaring re-election motives on the president’s behalf, intermittently surface on the boulevards of Abuja, the country’s capital.
The health of a Nigerian president remains a sensitive subject in Africa's most populous country, following the death of Umaru Yar’adua who was diagnosed of kidney and heart complications.
Yar'adua passed on in 2010; a year before his first term was due to elapse. He was succeeded by his Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from a minority in the South.