*says he enjoys solid-rock relationship with the masses

Apparently with his eyes on a second term, President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed as “utterly ridiculous and unfounded” the statement that Nigerians would abandon him in 2019 because of his failure to govern the country well.

He was reacting yesterday to allegations made a day earlier by a former aide and member of his defunct  Congress (CPC), Alhaji Buba Galadima‎, that majority of Nigerians would not support the president if he seeks re-election in 2019.

In a statement issued through his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president asserted that ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of his mandate and the only reason he ran for the office is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades.

Although he was not categorical if the president will seek re-election, Shehu posited that Galadima’s calculation and prediction is utterly confused and misleading, stressing that Nigerian masses are solidly behind Buhari because he is not stealing their money and their future.

Shehu said that “the President’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are convinced the President is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms”.

According to him: “President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians. This relationship is as solid a 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.”

While acknowledging that Galadima is entitled to advance his own political agenda, Shehu said the elder statesman did not have the right to decide for ordinary voters and could not speak for the masses as far as their steadfast loyalty to Buhari is concerned.

Shehu disclosed that Buba Galadima’s disagreement with President Buhari was based on principle, alleging that the former CPC chief engaged in the unwholesome practice of collecting money from political office seekers in the party to advance their ambitions.

He explained that President Buhari was rather committed to ensuring a level playing field and would not want anyone to link his name to injustice.

The Presidential media aide recalled that “Galadima’s disagreement with Buhari started in 2011 when a group within the party, orchestrated an organizational 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”.

Shehu 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.

The presidential aide added: “Consequently he dispensed with the service, such as they are, of Buba 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.”

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