•Walk is not work, says Atiku
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has told President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerians will not be swayed by his claim that he walked 800 metres to demonstrate his health status and thereby ready for second term in office.
Rather, the party said Nigerians would be looking for a competent and a knowledgeable President, who it said must have the capacity to tackle many problems facing the nation.
The former ruling party wondered why walking what it described as a mere 800 metres had become a thing of joy to warrant a statement from the Presidency.
It said that before the President and his aides could celebrate such a “feat”, the health situation of the President must have been in a precarious situation for some time.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke with our correspondent while reacting to the claim by the Presidency that Buhari demonstrated fitness for the second term by the walking.
Secondus wondered why “a mere walk” would become a yardstick to measure performance and readiness to lead a nation as big and as sophisticated as Nigeria.
It was believed that President Buhari decided to walk from the Eid praying ground in Daura to his private residence on Tuesday to show that he was not sick as being claimed by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Tambuwal, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the PDP, had claimed that “there is a vacuum in the government occasioned by his (Buhari’s ) indisposition probably because of his old age or health condition. “
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives added that this was why Nigerians had been yearning for younger people to lead the country.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed that the President decided to take the walk to reply those insinuating he might not be of good health.
“The President is fit, he is healthy; he is good to go for the second term, “ Shehu added.
Secondus, however, disagreed saying “a mere walk of 800 metres by the President was not enough to determine his health status and ability.”
He said, “When does a mere walk become readiness of someone to lead? Why celebrating a mere walk of 800 metres? Was the President on a wheel chair before? Why treat him like a child who was just learning how to walk?
“Is Nigeria or are Nigerians looking for walkers to lead them or someone who has the capacity to lead and tackle their problems?
“Now, is that what Nigeria has become? Just that someone claimed he walked 800 metres, he is good to go. When he was younger about two or three years ago, we saw his capacity.
“Is it now that he is old, hardly reads and hardly grants interviews that he would do better? No, tell them that what we need is not what he is offering us. Nigerians deserve more and he needs to do more to convince us that he can lead for the next four years.”
He asked the aides of the President to stop ridiculing him with their claims.
Secondus also asked Nigerians to note that the President would not be able to speak with them more than one to five minutes when political campaigns begin.
“We will soon see the healthy and strong President addressing rallies for fewer minutes to demonstrate that he is healthy,” Secondus added.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that there is a difference between walk and work.
He said while he jogs more than a mile during his exercise, it would be too pedestrian of him to ask Nigerians to vote for him because of that.
Atiku stated this in his twitter handle on Wednesday.
He said, “I regularly jog more than a mile & exercise, but it will be pedestrian of me to ask Nigerians to vote for me because of that. I want my party – the PDP, and Nigerians, to vote for me because I work not because I walk. I will work to create jobs. I won’t walk to create an illusion.”
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