The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s visitation to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, was not a show of support for the former Lagos State Governor ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
While speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Adesina explained that Buhari visited Tinubu to show goodwill after reports on the APC chieftain’s health.
He clarified that Buhari would not support any aspirant for the 2023 presidential election without APC’s affirmation.
When asked about the purpose of the meeting, Adesina said, “Yes, that meeting actually happened, but it is all about goodwill and best wishes.
“We know that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been in London about the same time the President was there. We don’t believe what we read on social media, but we have read a lot about Asiwaju Tinubu’s health, so the President’s visit was a goodwill visit.”
On whether the visit was a show of support for Tinubu’s possible presidential ambition, Adesina said, “The President still has two years less three months in his tenure of office. So, for him to start supporting somebody now will just be like jumping the gun and you know that President Buhari will never do that.
“Before the 2019 elections, people began to campaign for him (Buhari) before INEC blew the whistle for the campaign to start. He was the one who came out to say ‘no, don’t do it; don’t jump the gun’; the President himself will dare not jump the gun in terms of supporting one candidate or the other.
“Also, recall that he had said anybody that wants to be President after him should go out and work; that means the President may not be supporting anybody until maybe perhaps a candidate of the party emerges. Knowing President Buhari, he will never jump the gun.”
After attending the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education, the president had stayed back in London to see his doctors and returned to the country on Friday.
Before leaving London, Buhari, on Thursday, visited Tinubu, who is also believed to be on medical trip to London.
Tinubu had expressed thanks to the President for visiting him in London on August 12.
The APC leader, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, had said, “The visit was a friendly and welcome one that underscored the considerate and caring personality of our nation’s President and Commander-in-Chief.
“By this gesture, Mr. President has, again, demonstrated his personal thoughtfulness and humility; defying the erroneous commentaries peddled by his critics.
“Once again, Asiwaju thanks President Buhari for taking the time to visit him and wishes the President nothing but the very best as his administration continues to govern and lead the nation.”