Updated: March 3, 2021
The presidency in Nigeria erupted in anger on Tuesday and described as fake news and fiction a report claiming that the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Saudi Arabia have begun mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election next year.
Many prominent Nigerians have called on Mr. Buhari not to run. At least two former heads of state and a former vice President have described his over three years in power as a failure, and urged him to return to his farm in Daura, Katsina state.
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The Senate President and an avalanche of other Senators and House members have dumped the ruling APC for the opposition PDP.
But the presidency has described them as disgruntled elements who are few, loud and angry against the war against corruption Mr. Buhari is reportedly waging.
On the latest claims, Mr. Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said there was no pressure from Washington, London or elsewhere, and attacked the media for spreading fake news.
“It is necessary to respond to a tendentious story published today as cover choice by Daily Independent Newspaper.
“Under the headline, ‘Pressure mounts on Buhari not to seek re-election,’ the fiction parading as news claims that foreign powers, including the European Union, United States of America, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia, are putting pressure on President Buhari not to seek re-election, due to some concocted reasons,” Adesina wrote in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“We thought fake news was the sole preserve of the social media in this season. Alas, a traditional medium has caught the bug. Obviously, the author of the story just got a brain wave, or got procured by anti-democratic elements, and then penned the mischief,” he added.
“If there are quarters in which President Buhari is held in very high esteem, and the work he is doing for Nigeria highly lauded, it is in the countries mentioned. Some of them are equally bastions of democracy, and will not interfere in the democratic affairs of a sovereign country. The newspaper should simply tell its story to the marines.
“President Buhari is not a flippant or frivolous individual. He gave deep thought to the prospect, before announcing his bid for a second term in office. It is only those who fear that their goose would be cooked, if they meet with him at the polls, that are trying to dissuade him from running by all means, including sponsored newspaper stories.
By saying it got feelers that President Buhari may opt out of the 2019 presidential election, Daily Independent embarrassed itself, and all those who love good journalism. The newspaper can surely do better”.