A youth group in the northern part of Nigeria, Arewa Youth for Democracy (AYD), has accused some leading members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), some presidency officials and members of Buhari's campaign team particularly from the southwest of pushing President Muhammadu Buhari beyond his limits for their own selfish reasons.
In a statement by the group's national coordinator, Ishaq Murtala, and the publicity secretary, Comfort Shainaan, the group wondered why “a tiny group of Nigerians are bent on further weakening Presdient Muhammadu Buhari's health so as to achieve their own selfish political interests through the back door as the race towards the 2019 presidential elections gets more intense”.
The full statement reads:
We have been watching with sadness President Muhammadu Buhari's outings in this season of political campaigns and having seen his troubling state of health which has become glaring to the whole world, we feel highly compelled as concerned citizens of northern extraction to state that those who are pushing our dear president beyond his health limits are not doing Nigerians any good but are merely promoting their own selfish interests which they project as national interest all at the expense of the nation.
We are very much aware of the sophisticated but covert plans by some political leaders of the APC stock to constitutionally take over power and control of government in anticipation of President Muhammadu Buhari's ill health getting worse and unbearable for him. It is their plan to wear him out with strenuous campaign schedules with a view to further weakening his health. It is also their anticipation that once Buhari resigns or anything more untoward happens to him because of his ill health, they are positioned to take over from him based on the position of the constitution.
We wonder why a tiny group of Nigerians are bent on further weakening President Muhammadu Buhari's health so as to achieve their own selfish political interests through the back door as the race towards the 2019 presidential elections gets more intense.
Could this be the reason the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, recently told the Yoruba to vote for Buhari so that power would return to the southwest in 2023? The fact is that even Osinbajo knows that the campaign for power to return to the southwest in 2023 is not only illogical and improbable; it is also unfair to other regions which have not had a shot at the presidency since the beginning of our modern democratic dispensation despite being equal major stakeholders in the Nigerian project.
Based on the foregoing, the ultimate plan of this set of political leaders is not to wait till 2023 for the presidency to return to the southwest since that is most improbable, but to take it long before then once there is a reason for President Muhammadu Buhari not to continue any more due to his failing health should he win the 2019 presidential election. And the more President Buhari manifests signs of his failing health in full public glare the more this set of politicians get excited in the hope of what they are to benefit from the sad situation.
It is based on these reasons, and for power not to slip off our hands prematurely before 2023, that we urge all to strongly implore President Muhammadu Buhari to step down from the race and take good care of his health. We also urge everyone to queue behind an obviously fitter Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who incidentally is from our region as Buhari.
Our people must not fall into the trap of some selfish southwest leaders who have even been rejected by their own people for their desperation for power which they have only used to impoverish their people while smiling to the banks.
Our people must not make the fatal mistake of falling for the political gimmicks of those who do not mean well for President Buhari and the northern region by pushing him to the extreme just to feather their own nests.