A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar Gali Na’Abba, has said President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the physical and intellectual capacity to govern Nigeria.
Na’Abba said this when one of our correspondents contacted him to confirm comments attributed to him concerning calls on the President to seek a second term.
He told one of our correspondents over the telephone in Abuja, on Sunday, “He (President Buhari) hasn’t got the capacity physically and intellectually to govern Nigeria this is my honest opinion.”
In response to a question as to whether he said the ‘President feels that since he is now in charge, everything is in order,’ Na’Abba said, “I confirm what I said in the interview with Osasu on the Ossasu TV show.”
He said the President would not get his support should he seek a second term come 2019.
Na’Abba, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Congress, said this on the Osasu Show anchored by Osasu Igbinedion.
Asked whether he would be supporting Buhari, he said, “There is no way I can support him.”
He said when he met with Buhari to advise him, the President said he should not worry, that everything was going as planned.
Na’Abba added, “I had the opportunity of sitting with the President and tell him that this is what is wrong but he told me that things were wrong before but with his election, everything is right now. That was what he told me and I was very disappointed.”
The ex-speaker said Buhari refused to carry the APC leaders along because he believed that all politicians were evil.
He said the President only recently decided to appoint party members into boards because he was seeking re-election.
The ex-lawmaker said, “I decided to move back to the APC from the PDP to support him because from his utterances, I believed he wanted to add value to democracy and this is three years into his administration and he doesn’t work with the party, he regards party members as evil, he doesn’t work with anybody, he doesn’t consult with anybody in the party.
“I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the party even though we don’t have it officially. We had a meeting of such a board or whatever you call it in February 2016.
“That meeting was only called again in November 2017 when he decided that he wanted to get re-elected and he needs us. He promised to reconstitute boards. He had earlier refused to do that because he believed politicians were responsible for all the evil in this country and he also promised to increase the number of ministers. In a nutshell, the President has not added value to democracy by an inch.”
Na’Abba said he was aware that about seven governors had endorsed the President’s re-election bid.
He, however, argued that the governors were acting alone, without the support of their state chapters since no one was consulted before the endorsement.
But the Presidency may not be surprised at the outburst of Na’Abba.
Rather, it is expecting that as the next elections draw nearer, more chieftains of the ruling APC will still go public to support Na’Abba’s position.
A Presidency official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday.
The government official said Na’Abba’s outburst did not come as a surprise because it was clear that the President could not pay for his expensive lifestyle.
He said more party chiefs who belong to the same category with the former Speaker would still join him.
The source said, “Ghali Na’Abba’s position is not strange to us and it did not come to us as a surprise. The truth is that more party chiefs which still toe the same line with him. They will come out to support him.”
He said many of those who were opposed to Buhari had expensive lifestyles, which Buhari could not pay for.
When contacted on the telephone for his reaction to Na’Abba’s claim, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, declined comment.
“I won’t comment on this statement credited to Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba,” Shehu said.