More than 24 hours after one of his well-known allies asked him to pick his possible successor, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Nigerian leader is not interested in doing so.
“The president will not pick a successor if you know him,” Buhari’s media adviser Femi Adesina said on Channels on Monday night.
“He is not somebody like that. But yes he will be interested in the process and he has said that he will ensure that there will be a free, fair and credible process and nobody will come to use money and resources to bamboozle his way to the leadership of the country, it will not happen.”
The pastor of Latter Rain Assembly Tunde Bakare Sunday told Buhari to be decisive in choosing a member of his party that will succeed him in 2023.
Bakare was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election as the candidates of the Congress for Progressive Change.
Although he is not known to be a card-carrying member of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Change, Bakare is believed to interested in becoming the president of Africa’s largest economy.
He told News Agency of Nigeria last March that he would like to succeed Buhari in 2023.
“I am going to throw my hat into the fray. I am just waiting for President Buhari to finish his tenure (in 2023). We cannot continue this way because we have something to offer this country, and we will by the grace of God,’’ he said.
Bakare made a similar statement during a sermon in February 2018. In that sermon, he categorically predicted that would succeed Buhari as Nigerian president.
“I am saying it to you this morning, in the scheme of things, as far as Nigerian politics is concerned, President Muhammadu Buhari is number 15 and yours sincerely is number 16,” he said in a video that only went viral more than a year after it was recorded.
The video has since been pulled down from the YouTube channel that first published it, a check by The Guardian on Monday night showed.
However, Buhari’s spokesman said his boss will be interested in handing over not to persons who may loot the country.
“The president will ensure that Nigeria is in safe hands, there is no point having worked from 2015 to 2023, having made gains, advances and then hand Nigeria over to looters once again or to allow looters use stolen funds to seize power,” Adesina said.