The Presidency, Wednesday, replied former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, over his comment that President Muhammadu Buhari is an unrepentant dictator and power drunk.
The presidency said that truly the President is uncompromising, especially when it concerns looting the common patrimony of Nigerians, and squandering their riches.
Abubakar said on Tuesday that he was concerned about whether the 2019 elections will be free and fair with Buhari in power.
In an interview with the AFP, Abubakar, who is contesting the presidential election on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, said unlike former President Goodluck Jonathan, who peacefully relinquished power in 2015, the country is now dealing with “a retired general, very uncompromising, also power-drunk; who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.
“The characters that are involved this time, as far as the leadership of this country is concerned, are different from 2015,” he was quoted as saying.
However, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday while reacting to an allegation, said indeed, when it comes to issue of corruption, Buhari was not ready to bend the rules.
Adesina said: “Rather than use the name of President Buhari to buoy his bid to get the presidential ticket of a party, whose flag has been flying at half-mast since it got roundly trounced at the polls in 2015, the former Vice President needs be told that the President is truly uncompromising, but only when it comes to looting the common patrimony of Nigerians, and squandering their riches.
“President Buhari is uncompromising in the quest to restore probity and accountability to public office.
“He is uncompromising in cleaning the rot Nigeria was consigned into pre-2015, thus the war against corruption is being fought without fear or favour.
“The President is equally resolute in the determination to ensure that Nigeria is no longer a mono-economy, depending only on oil. “Yes, President Buhari is single-minded in effecting change in every area of Nigerian life. So, Alhaji Abubakar is right, if that was what he meant by the President being “uncompromising.”
The presidential aide said it was also wrong for the former Vice President to accuse President Buhari of being power drunk and not ready to leave power without a fight.
According to him, President Buhari, though a retired military general, has demonstrated in many ways that he is a committed democrat, and has no apologies about that.
“But power drunk? No! And being a man “who will not be ready to leave power without a fight?” Never! Not President Buhari, who has demonstrated in many ways that he is a committed democrat, though also a retired military general. He has no apologies about that,” he said. Adesina noted that President Buhari, through a sterling military career, had served Nigeria with his `heart and might’, before venturing into partisan politics.
He further observed that the President had wielded power with decency to serve the people, rather than for personal ends.
“If there’s one person not intoxicated by power, it is President Buhari, and scores of millions of Nigerians know this.
“That is why they will invest him with power again next year, knowing that he won’t misuse or misapply what has been entrusted to him. “Former VP Abubakar may want to borrow a leaf from the decorous language employed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in answering his recent press statement on the restructuring debate.
“That is the hallmark of statesmen, and not crying wolf where none exists, which is what the allegation of being uncompromising and power drunk truly is.
“President Buhari is actuated by service to country, and nothing else. So, there couldn’t be anything like “not ready to leave power without a fight.”
According to Adesina, the insinuation of a fight is the mindset of a man who is either undemocratic, or has seen defeat staring him, and his party, in the face.
He, therefore, assured the former Vice President that there would be no ‘fight’ over power in Nigeria, and “Not under President Buhari’s watch. “The people don’t want a fight. It is some political leaders we must beseech to eschew pugnacity, and mind their language.”