Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, has condemned a statement credited to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar that President Muhammadu Buhari is “power drunk”.
Abubakar, who is a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was quoted as saying Buhari is “very uncompromising, power drunk (and) will not be ready to leave power without a fight.”
Reacting on Wednesday, Adesina said it is true that Buhari is uncompromising but only “in the quest to restore probity and accountability to public office”.
He said the president is also uncompromising in “cleaning the rot Nigeria was consigned into pre-2015, thus the war against corruption is being fought without fear or favour.”
“Rather than use the name of President Buhari to buoy his bid to get the presidential ticket of a party, whose flag has been flying at half-mast since it got roundly trounced at the polls in 2015, the former Vice President needs be told that the President is truly uncompromising, but only when it comes to looting the common patrimony of Nigerians, and squandering their riches,” Adesina said in a statement.
“Yes, President Buhari is single-minded in effecting change in every area of Nigerian life. So, Alhaji Abubakar is right, if that was what he meant by the President being uncompromising. But power drunk? No! And being a man ‘who will not be ready to leave power without a fight?’ Never!
“It is some political leaders we must beseech to eschew pugnacity and mind their language.
Adesina also said the president has demonstrated he is a committed democrat, “though also a retired military general (which) he has no apologies for.”
“In many ways, President Buhari has wielded power with decency, and as a means of serving the people, rather than for personal ends. If there’s one person not intoxicated by power, it is President Buhari, and scores of millions of Nigerians know this,” he added.
“That is why they will invest him with power again next year, knowing that he won’t misuse or misapply what has been entrusted to him.”
He asked Abubakar to “borrow a leaf from the decorous language employed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo” when the two argued over restructuring.
“That is the hallmark of statesmen, and not crying wolf where none exists, which is what the allegation of being uncompromising and power drunk truly is,” he said.
“Let the former Vice President be rest assured that there will be no ‘fight’ over power in Nigeria. Not under President Buhari’s watch. The people don’t want a fight.”