By Ismaila Chafe
Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has dismissed the claim that the masses will desert President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, describing it as “unfounded and utterly ridiculous.”
Shehu, who was reacting to a media interview granted by former CPC member, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said that 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.”
Galadima had in an interview alleged that President Buhari would be abandoned by the people in 2019.
However, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, said Galadima’s calculation and prediction “is utterly confused and misleading.”
He said the masses were 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.”
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation and he enjoys very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians; the relationship is as solid as the proverbial rock.
“If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means the president is isolated, he is putting himself up to ridicule.”
Shehu stated that Galadima was not in the position to speak for the masses as far as their steadfast loyalty to Buhari is concerned.
While acknowledging that Galadima was entitled to advance his own political agenda, the presidential aide said Galadima did not have the right to decide for ordinary voters.
Shehu recalled that Buba Galadima’s disagreement with President Buhari was based on principle, saying that President Buhari was committed to level playing field and would 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, would not suppress the will of the people to please selfish interests.