Mr. Femi Adeshina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, has revealed that the president’s decision to keep quiet about his 2019 re-election bid was a deliberate act to avoid sabotage.
Mr. Adeshina disclosed this in an interview with select State House correspondents.
According to the presidential aide, when the time is right, President Buhari would make his intention and plans known to the people of Nigeria.
“You know the peculiarity of Nigeria, particularly now. If the president speaks too early, it’s a problem. There is a lot of sabotage in the country.
“You have also heard so many have said, ‘don’t run,’ because they know that if the president runs, other people would just run away because they don’t have the foggiest chance in hell of beating him. So, they want to discourage him from running.
“Now, if he tells you, ‘I’m going to run,’ and elections are still one year away, it gives them one year to sabotage the entire country from all fronts – politically, socially, economically – they would throw everything at him just to dissuade him from running.
“So, when you know that, why then speak early? I think it makes a lot of sense for you to keep things close to your chest till it is time for you to then say, ‘ok, I’m running’ by which time they can do less damage,” he explained.
Adesina also explained the reason behind President Buhari’s planned visit to Rivers State, despite claims by the state governor, Nyesom Wike, that the state was crisis-free.
“If he (Wike) doesn’t understand, the rest of the country understands. We understand. Other Nigerians understand. Even people in Rivers State understand because on new year’s day, a minimum of 24 people were killed in Omoku.
“So, is that not a crisis? And can you count the number of people that have been beheaded in Rivers State in recent times?
“People were killed and heads cut off and the assailants went away with the heads. So, can anybody say that there is no security issue in that kind of place?
“It’s left to the governor, he’s the chief security officer. If he says there’s no security crisis in his state, good luck to him.
“But the president is visiting so that he can condole with people who lost their loved ones, 24 people minimum, were killed in Omoku.
“So, those people are the reason. Those people and the many beheaded; relations of those beheaded and their heads taken away are the reason the president is visiting the state.”