Kassim Afegbua, the spokesman of former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, has joined the call for President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek a second term in office in 2019.
He made this known in an interview published by Vanguard newspaper on Sunday.
Afegbua was recently declared wanted by the police for signing a statement on behalf of Babangida in which the former leader lamented the insecurity in Nigeria and urged Buhari not to seek reelection.
Afegbua, a member of the All Progressives Congress like Buhari, said in the latest interview that the president needed to go home and rest.
He called on the president to shun the advise of those encouraging him to seek reelection, noting that those advising him against the move like him more than those encouraging him.
Afegbua said, If President Buhari is my father, I will graciously advise him. I will say, ‘Daddy, it is time to go home and manage the rest of your life. It is time to leave the stage where people will be abusing you’. I will not bring out my dad to be so vilified if I were to be his son.
So it is not about changing policies, it is about the fact that this is the age of retirement, this is the age of having more time for yourself and family than committing to public service. When General Babangida clocked 70, I was one of those who prevailed on him to quit partisan politics. I told him, ‘Sir, now you are 70, I do not want any journalist to push you here and there’. We prepared a statement for him; at a public event in Abuja, he announced his retirement from partisan politics.
That is the hallmark of a statesman. Now anybody that wants to run for election both in APC and PDP go to him in Minna for advice. So some of us who are saying that President Buhari should not seek re-election are more of his friends than those who are urging him on. Now the President has told us that his doctors told him to eat more and sleep more. But this country needs a President who will be awake when the country is sleeping.
Or who will be awake when the country is awake. India is awake at night, 24 hours because they want to catch up with lost time. We cannot afford the luxury of having a President who will sleep when we have insecurity everywhere, herdsmen here and there. We need a President that has the capacity to go round and preach peace to all the ethnic groups. Nigeria is more sharply divided now more than ever before and that is where some of us expressed huge worry and huge danger.
We now look at ourselves as strangers occupying the same geographical mass. It should not be, we should be partners in progress and we should be able to own our country. We are all Nigerians, we need a President that can speak on these issues, understand the intricate logic of the Nigerian federation, the dynamism of the processes and, at the end, take a decision that will be far reaching and that will be seen to be just and fair to all the ethnic configurations of the country. It is not an accident of history that President Obasanjo said this government is nepotistic. There are clear signs; we have seen actions and inactions. We need a President that will speak the language of peace, we don’t want people to be cocooned in the Villa and we are just working with body language; that does not help us as a country.