President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated his interest to seek a second term in office after the expiration of his first four years in 2019.
The indication came on Tuesday night when the President addressed a cross section of Nigerians living in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire where he is currently attending the 5th European Union/African summit.
He told a cross section of Nigerians that he will be seeking their votes in the future.
Speaking at the event, which was attended by the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President explained that such a gathering with the Nigerian community abroad was a milestone for his government.
“First, I want to apologise for keeping you for too long seating, this is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting.
“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up,” Buhari said as the hall erupted in laughter and clapping.
The decision of the President to invite the former Lagos State governor for the Abidjan is seen as a step in consolidating politically with major stakeholders for the forthcoming general elections.
This is the first time Tinubu is travelling abroad with the President.
Some APC governors have also recently endorsed Buhari for the 2019 elections.
The President, while apologizing for keeping those that came for the interactive session waiting, explained that he insisted on having Governors Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom) and Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) present so that Nigerians in Côte d’Ivoire from the two states will be happy that he was accompanied by their governors and that might earn him votes in future.
President Buhari also thanked Tinubu for bringing him a beautiful piece of information, which he was not aware of until now.
Buhari, however, did not disclose what piece of information it was, but promised to discuss it in details with Tinubu.
According to him, “I also thank our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He has brought me a very beautiful piece of information, which I was not aware of until I sat down and read it this evening (Tuesday night). Thank you very much for your hard work and I will discuss that paper with you.”
He said his support for the President of the African
Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, despite serving as minister in a PDP-led government was to further confirm his remarks at his inauguration on May 29, 2015, that he belongs to everybody and nobody in particular.
The President was reacting to Adesina’s gratitude to his administration for supporting him to get the job, leading to him becoming the first Nigerian to head the continental bank since it was set up in 1964.
He said: “The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), who forgot to mention that he was serving in the PDP government as minister, but all the same, I picked him and recommended him for AfDB. I think it emphasized what I said during my swearing in that I’m for everybody, I’m for nobody. As long as you are a Nigerian, be prepared to be on the receiving end from me.”
Adesina, in his remarks, noted that the economy picked up soon after the President’s health, adding that “so it seems there is a correlation between the President’s health and the improved economy.”
On security, Adesina said the bank has released $250 million for the construction and rehabilitation of the North-East, destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“I was with you in Paris where you led the efforts in reviving the Lake Chad Basin. As you know, Mr. President, the bank is very strongly behind that. We put in $250 million to support the North-East of Nigeria rebuilding. I know you were criticized for rebuilding, but I don’t see anything wrong. If things get destroyed, they have to be rebuilt and the African Development Bank has contributed $250 million towards that,” he said.
He also told the President that the AfDB has constructed a big building behind the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
He said it is the first of such building by AfDB outside its Abidjan headquarters, which he will want President Buhari to commission.
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