SKC Ogbonnia, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the report in which President Donald Trump described President Muhammadu Buhari as “lifeless” as evident of the world’s supposed rejection of his decision to seek reelection.
He made his position known in a statement on Monday, noting that it gave credence to his earlier position that “the world is against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid”.
According to Ogbonnia, the rejection of the international community is premised on “Buhari’s failing health, lack of clear vision, lack of intellectual capacity, an apparent pattern of torpor, nepotism, wanton killings, disregard for the rule of law, and a growing sense of disunity and uncertainty in the land, among many failings”.
A report by Financial Times had stated that “The first meeting, with Nigeria’s ailing 75-year-old Muhammadu Buhari in April ended with the US president telling aides he never wanted to meet someone so lifeless again, according to three people familiar with the matter”.
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Ogbonnia stated that his “sources within the White House confided that Trump believes that Africa has the potential to be fully independent”.
The statement read: “I told you so. About ten days ago, I revealed to our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), and fellow Nigerians that the world is against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid. I asserted that the opposition is coming from influential leaders within our major allies, including Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China, Canada, etc.
“I added that the emerging consensus among these nations is that President Buhari’s second term ambition lacks in cogency. They point to Buhari’s failing health, lack of clear vision, lack of intellectual capacity, an apparent pattern of torpor, nepotism, wanton killings, disregard for the rule of law, and a growing sense of disunity and uncertainty in the land, among many failings.”
Describing Trump’s alleged “lifeless” comment as “partial testimony”, he said: “my sources within the White House confided that Trump believes that Africa has the potential to be fully independent, “but the countries over there need to get their act together. They need good leaders who can get things done.
“This view is popular among the Western nations. I also gathered that some of the world leaders plan to visit or talk to Buhari soon.
“Perhaps, leadership is contingent upon the environment. What is good for America may not be good for Nigeria and vice versa. But if any relationship with the outside world is a factor in solving Nigerian problems, President Buhari has no business touching the APC nomination form.
“Further, the Financial Times does not speak for the world, quite alright, but its report is a part of the pressure from the international community that will continue to mount as the months leading to the 2019 go by. Such global campaign is expected to be more robust than what President Goodluck Jonathan faced in 2015.”