The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has assured the international community that President Muhammadu Buhari was healthy and fit to seek re-election in 2019.
Mohammed, who had been on tour of major media houses and think-tank in the US, said there was nothing to fear about Buhari’s health as he declared his intention to seek re-election.
He visited CNN, New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; Al Jazeera, Reuters, Wall Journal Street, and Atlantic Council and the Foreign Relations Council. He told News Agency of Nigeria:
“I think the exchange has been quite robust. We’ve spoken on a wide range number of issues from security to the economy to the fight against corruption. “In particular, the interview dwelt more on insecurity and also they were interested to know why the president wants to seek re-election and whether he is fit to run given the concerns about his health. “Of course, I explained to them that it is those who have a morbid fear about president coming back in 2019 that are flying this kite about his health. “But his health is very good, since he came back in August, he’s feeling very well, he’s never missed a single Federal Executive Council meeting or cancelled any schedule and his schedules have been very hectic. “He has faced his presidential duties with vigour, urgency and purpose. Therefore, there’s nothing to fear about his health.”
On Boko Haram, Mohammed recalled that four years ago, the insurgents strolled into Abuja at will under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, stressing that residents of Maiduguri now had a better lease of life, compared to what obtained under that government. He said:
“The important thing is that we made them understand that the unfortunate incident of kidnap of the Dapchi schoolgirls and the recent suicide bombings are not reflective of actually the success of the government in fighting Boko Harm. “When the government says Boko Haram is defeated, it is from the context of what it was when it came in and what we are today. People have forgotten that less than three or four years ago, people in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, could not sleep with their two eyes closed. “That four years ago, the insurgents used to stroll into Abuja at will and no building was sacred to them. I mean they were so bold they attacked the Force Headquarters. “They attacked the UN headquarters, they attacked newspapers head office, Nyanya motor park was attacked twice and states and towns like Suleja, Kano, Sokoto, Kogi, Borno, were game for them. So, when we say we have defeated Boko Haram, it is precisely what we mean.”