Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has dismissed suggestions that the masses will desert President Muhammadu Buhari at the polls in 2019.
Reacting to allegations by a former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) member, Buba Galadima that Buhari would be abandoned by the people during the 2019 general elections, Shehu on Monday said the politician’s calculation and prediction is utterly confused and misleading.
He described the statement as unfounded and utterly ridiculous, and asserted that ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of Buhari’s mandate and the only reason he ran for presidency is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades.
Shehu said the masses are solidly behind Buhari because he is not stealing their money and their future, that the president’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are convinced he is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians. This relationship is as solid the proverbial rock. If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means president is isolated he is putting himself up to ridicule,” Shehu said.
According to him, Galadima cannot 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 spokesman said he didn’t have the right to decide for ordinary voters.
The media aide said 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 Buhari 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. Consequently he dispensed with the service, such as they are, of Galadima; ran and won the 2015 elections without them.
“Let Buba Galadima go to his constituency, stand for election and see what will happen to him,” Shehu concluded.