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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari on ‘Jibril of Sudan’ saga. Two other talking points



Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, finally, reacted to the tales of him being dead, and reportedly replaced at the Aso Rock Villa by a body double called ‘Jibril Aminu from Sudan’.

We tracked two other stories that made the rounds at the presidency within the week under review.

1. Buhari on ‘Jibril of Sudan’ saga

President Buhari, in a documentary shown on Friday night, December 24, at a private dinner organised by his family, and associates, to celebrate his 80th birthday, stated that the joke about his death, and replacement by one Jibril was not good.

“Yes! People said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves. The rumour is not funny because those who made the statement just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main issue,” he said.

Indeed, silence can be golden. Buhari must have shown sterner stuff. The rumour as publicised mostly by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, before the 2019 elections was distasteful, and brought the Nigerian state to ridicule.

But couldn’t he have doused the raging rumours when they were first triggered?
Perhaps, only a privileged peep into the inner workings of his media strategists could unravel what may have transpired.

For now, it is good that the President has finally bared his mind on the issue.

Two other talking points

2. Building on Buhari’s successes

On December 24, President Buhari asserted that whoever succeeds him next year will build on the successes of his administration.

“The advance we have made so far on the economic front, especially in infrastructure; food security, anti-corruption, security, and energy sufficiency, among others, will need to be built on. I urge you to be circumspect and vote for those that will maintain the momentum we have created for the greater good of the country,” the President stated in his Christmas message to Nigerians.

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: Still on Buhari’s commitment to credible polls. Two other talking points

Buhari’s submissions further stoke the debate on his performances. Many have argued that only politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) fold are persuaded by Mr President’s arguments.

Others, in the opposition, believe that the President had failed in all sectors, leaving nothing to celebrate. And, they may not be entirely wrong.

The collapsing economy, evident in high unemployment rate; nagging insecurity; pervasive corruption; and rising cost of living make claims to any successes shaky.

It is hoped that whoever succeeds Buhari would have the vision and transformational energy to make the country better for all.

3. Campaigning for APC

In reaction to his continuous absence at APC presidential campaigns, President Buhari on December 21, expressed readiness to lead the rallies for the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, including other candidates of the party.

According to his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President stated this while speaking to the Nigerian community during his recent visit to the United States.

“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 Candidates and all party candidates with full energy and convictions,” the statement reads.

Buhari’s expression of readiness to campaign for the APC is expected. It is assumed that he understands the seriousness of the 2023 elections.

What may not be openly admitted though is that the managers of the President understand that his health condition might be such that would not lend itself to rigorous exposures.

It shouldn’t surprise, therefore, that Buhari’s appearances at such political rallies would be far and in between.

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