The presidency on Tuesday came down very hard on Daily Independednt Newspaper, blasting it for publishing a story with the headline, “Pressure mounts on Buhari not to seek re-election”.
In a strong-worded statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidency described the report as “fiction parading as news”
According to the newsppaer report, foreign powers, including the European Union, United States of America, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia, are putting pressure on President Buhari not to seek re-election.
The report reads: “Pressure is currently on President Muhammadu Buhari to bow out of the 2019 presidential race, Daily Independent has reliably gathered.”
“Credible sources said the pressure on the president not to seek re-election has been on for a while and comes mostly from the international community led by the European Union, the United States, the UK, and Saudi Arabia.
“Aside from the issue of his health, which has greatly hampered his performance in the last three years, Daily Independent gathered that those against a second term for Buhari also harped on the current divisions in the country which, according to them, may worsen if he seeks re-election.”
“A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), who also confirmed the development, said there was a possibility that the president might not seek re-election.”
But Adesina stated that “the author of the story just got a brain wave, or got procured by anti-democratic elements, and then penned the mischief.”
The statement said the newspaper should “tell its story to the marines” because “if there are quarters in which President Buhari is held in very high esteem, and the work he is doing for Nigeria highly lauded, it is in the countries mentioned.”
It stated that some of the countries mentioned in the report are equally bastions of democracy, and will not interfere in the democratic affairs of a sovereign country.
The statement reads further: “President Buhari is not a flippant or frivolous individual. He gave deep thought to the prospect, before announcing his bid for a second term in office. It is only those who fear that their goose would be cooked, if they meet with him at the polls, that are trying to dissuade him from running by all means, including sponsored newspaper stories.
“By saying it got feelers that President Buhari may opt out of the 2019 presidential election, Daily Independent embarrassed itself, and all those who love good journalism. The newspaper can surely do better.”