The presidency, yesterday, explained why there is pressure from within and outside the country on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term in office, even as it decried the cocktails of fake and hate news against the president.
Spokespersons of the Presidency, Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, informed journalists that the president would contest and win next year’s election by a wider margin.
On why much pressure is on President Buhari to seek a second term, Shehu said: “President Buhari will run in 2019 and he will win. The pressure is even coming from outside the country for him to run, because they belief is that there is the need for Buhari’s firm hands to stabilize the country,”
They stated that irrespective of the high level of hatred and fake news being circulated on the social media, what will be in 2019 will be, and “what will happen is that President Muhammadu Buhari would win with a wider margin of ballots than he polled in 2015.” While decrying the deleterious import of fake news and hate news, Adesina traced what happened in Rwanda and Kenya to fake news, stressing that journalists on the traditional media should take utmost care in balancing reports and ensuring the veracity of their reports.
He said facts on the ground reveal that President Buhari has recorded monumental achievements in the past three years, particularly in infrastructure, security and fight against corruption such that greater percentage of Nigerians want him back in office for a second term.
Referring to feedback from a radio programme, Adesina added: “Those speaking against the President are a vocal minority, but they have voice and when they speak, there is a cacophony and you will think that it is Nigerians that are speaking. If it is just for the rail projects alone, some people say they will vote for Buhari.
“Others say that if it is just for the honour done to Chief MKO Abiola, they will vote for Buhari, while there are those who say that if it is that people can now sleep with their eyes closed in the Northeast, they will vote for the President.“Different people have different reasons why they will vote for President Buhari. All those making noise should not forget that democracy is a game of numbers, so let’s wait and see,” he stated.
Adesina disclosed that instead of focusing on the realities, the vocal minority decided to create alternative facts in a cacophony of voices to create the erroneous impression that theirs represent the voices of Nigerians.
While dismissing claims that Nigerian youth are disenchanted over the President’s performance, the Presidency said: “There was a time so much noise about the youth saying that the President called them lazy youths. The impression then in the social media was that all the youths of this country are against Buhari. In fact, some people spoke as if the youth have gathered their votes somewhere and will carry them against Buhari on election day, but a week after that hullaballoo, we went to Bauchi, the crowd that came out had more than 75 per cent of youths, and I have seen such a crowd in my life.
“The impression was that youths were angry, but what is the President working for? To secure the country! Who will inherit the country? The youth! When you fight corruption; there is more revenue for development. Who will the development favour? Youths! If the economy booms, who will enjoy the country? Youths!”.The Presidency said although the Boko Haram has actually been defeated what looks like resurgence of the insurgency revolves around the criminality adding that as obtains all over the world, time is needed to counter the ideology through deradicalisation.