President Muhammadu Buhari’s health status will determine whether or not he will seek reelection in 2019, the Presidency has said.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said this in an interview.
"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. So, 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.
"Everyday you see the president, you see a glow about him, you see a freshness about him. I think he’s even in a better state than when he came in 2015. It’s all to the glory of God.
"So, once he assesses that his health can carry it, there’s nothing wrong if he steps into the fray. But he has the final decision," Adesina said.
Adesina, who said it is Buhari’s right to seek reelection or leave office in 2019, noted that the president had not declared his intention.
"Then, talking of his (Buhari’s) own personal ambition or lack of it, we have to wait until he blows the whistle. You can’t start a race until the whistle is blown. So, when he blows the whistle and say ‘yes, this is my ambition,’ then, the race start. So, for now, we just say that we keep waiting on him to tell us what direction to go," he said.
Responding to a question on the calls on Buhari to do the Mandela option of four years only, Adesina said: "Of course, this is a democracy. People will always have a right to their opinion. You know one thing about democracy is that there is 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 don’t abridge the right of anybody under a democracy."
Adesina expressed belief that the president had achieved enough to get a second term.
"I believe that if the president wants to run, he can run. I will support him. I will always support him any day. Then, has he done enough? More than enough. In fact, a second term will give him chance to consolidate on what he has done.
"The things he has done are apparent: security, despite the challenges of the moment, you can’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 are good. Even the World Bank has projected 2.5% 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 it’s taking off, it’s good news. Anti-corruption, no friend, no foe. That goes on. 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."