Office of the president, has said president Muhammadu Buhari is committed to supporting Bola Tinubu for next year’s presidential election but will not allow political campaigns to affect the “functions and duties of the President.”
Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesperson, in a Wednesday statement, mentioned that the president, while in the US, expressed his commitment to support all All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates.
This is coming after many expressed concerns in certain quarters about the President not featuring in campaigns since the national launch in Jos, Plateau State.
Shehu said, “Speaking to the Nigerian community in Washington DC in the course of his recent visit to the United States, President Buhari stressed what he said all the time that he is ready to campaign for the party’s victory in the general elections next year.
“President Muhammadu Buhari assures the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the elections next year that he is ready at all times to campaign for the presidential candidate and all party candidates with “full energy and conviction.”
Shehu added that while the president “remains committed to party politics, the functions and duties of the President will equally be upheld at times.”
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Many Nigerians including party faithful had questioned the president’s absence at the presidential rallies of the ruling party, APC since the campaigns started weeks ago.
However, Shehu’s statement suggests the president may not play any key role despite his designation as the chairman of the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council.
In the period that the campaigns have been ongoing, Buhari has attended several official functions within and outside the country, including the recent summit between the US President and African leaders in Washington.
In the same vein, spokesperson for the APC Presidential Campaign Council and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, said the president is not seen at Bola Tinubu’s political campaigns because he “still has governance of the country to administer and wants to finish very strong”.
Keyamo said the president is fully behind Tinubu but does not consider the 2023 contest as a do-or-die affair in a chat with Daily Independent
“The Olusegun Obasanjo-Umaru Musa Yar’Adua situation was encapsulated in the voice of Obasanjo. He said the 2007 presidential election for him was a do-or-die affair. That was the first time that sentence escalated in Nigerian politics. A do-or-die election.
“President Buhari is not in that league of do-or-die. If he gives you his support, you can go to bed with your two eyes closed, that you have his backing.
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“However, he does not go to the extent of do-or-die. Apart from giving his support, he also said nobody will use thugs or money to influence Nigerians and the outcome of the presidential election.
“What Buhari has done is what a responsible leader should do. He has decided to chair the APC presidential campaign council.
“He was there physically during the flag-off in Jos. As the campaign goes on throughout the country, when it fits into his schedule, he will make his appearance at selected campaign grounds just to show that he is in support of Asiwaju.
“He still has governance of the country to administer and he wants to finish very strong as president. That is why you see a lot of engagements in his diary these days.
“But let me assure you that President Buhari is with Asiwaju 110 percent but he is not making it a do-or-die affair like Obasanjo.”