‘Buhari or no Buhari, North must retain presidency’
From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Leader of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo Gujungu, has described recent reports giving credit to acting President Yemi Osinbajo for certain achievements recorded by the presidency, as an insult to the north.
What is your reaction to the issue of the President’s extended medical leave?
Buhari is a human being and just like anybody, he is capable of falling ill, but our major concern is that the whole issue is now being politicised for certain interests. This is exactly what happened during late President Yar’Adua’s government. Politicians have started bargaining for power using Buhari’s health condition. If they continue like this, we are going to expose them because we work for the unity of the north first before any other thing. We are not going to allow what happened during Yar’Adua’s era to repeat itself. In the event of any eventuality, the presidency will continue to remain here in the north till 2023.
I say this because we are conversant with the propaganda currently emanating from the South-west claiming that Osinbajo has performed so much within the two months he has been acting President. They claim that he has solved a lot of problems but what some people do not realise is that Nigeria is just like a plane on autopilot. The President had already done everything before he left and what Osinbajo is currently doing is just to press some buttons here and there. The President should get the credit for whatever achievements recorded so far. They are indirectly insulting the north by insinuating that Buhari could not do what is being attributed to Osinbajo within this period.
Some people believe that the Presidency is not sincere to Nigerians on the issue of Buhari’s health status. What do you think?
I would not want to dwell on that issue because I speak on behalf of the Arewa Youth Forum for northern unity. Buhari has already transmitted the leadership of the country to the Acting President. Unfortunately, the South-west are using it against the President, forcing him to speak or make comments. We cannot have two presidents at the same time in the country. Already, there is an Acting President and he is in control of the country. Buhari is on vacation and this issue is not like that of Yar’Adua who travelled out of the country without transmitting power to the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. We know the people from the north who are deploying all these strategies to get Buhari out of power.
I hope you are aware of the constitutional provision that says that the Vice President takes over power if the President is no longer there?
I am aware of the constitutional provision but President Buhari will be back. We have not even given any thought to the idea that the President will not return to the country to continue with his duties. He will certainly return. The country appears divided because of the issue of Buhari’s health. But what we are telling northerners is to put away politics and work for the unity of the north. It would seem as if we do not have the love of this country at heart.
Do you consider the visits by some Nigerians to London and the reported President’s conversations with some people as really necessary since he is officially on vacation?
They have the right to visit Buhari and we have already made all the arrangements too to visit him in London. We have got the approval and any moment from now we will fly to London to greet the President.
Given the widely reported poverty level in the country, do you see Buhari contesting in 2019 and winning?
The first thing we should do is to pray for his health. On the issue of 2019, we know we are going to get a competent person from the north because it is the turn of the north to be in power. People are praying for the President, in churches and mosques in the north. These are the people who truly love this country. When 2019 comes, we will know h