The Presidency, Monday, reacted speedily to the call by the Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who, during his State of the Nation broadcast, on Sunday, told President Muhammadu Buhari to show more than a passing interest in who succeeds him in 2023.
Point-blank, Pastor Bakare said the President must get involved in picking his successor as a way of preserving his legacies.
But speaking on Channels Television, Monday night, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said his boss will not handpick who succeeds him from May 29, 2023.
Adesina gave the assurance during an interview on Channels Television’s flagship political programme, Politics Today.
The Special Adviser emphasised that President Buhari will not hand over to looters and brigands who would reverse the progress made so far and neither would he circumvent the electoral process.
“That will not happen,” Adesina assured. “We know him (Buhari); he is not somebody like that.”
But would the president be interested in the progress, the anchor, Seun Okinbaloye asked Adesina. And the Special Adviser answered in the affirmative: “Yes, he will.”
“The president will not pick a successor,” Adesina declared. “Will he be interested in the process? Yes, he will.
“He will ensure that there is a free, fair and credible election; that nobody will come to use money and resources to bamboozle his way into the leadership of the country.
“It will not happen. The President will ensure free, fair and credible process but to handpick a successor? No, he will not do that.”
Asked if President Buhari was listening to the advice given by his friend, Pastor Bakare, Adesina stated emphatically that:
“The President will ensure that Nigeria is in safe hands. There is no point having worked, having made gains, having made advances since 2015-2023, to hand Nigeria over to those who will take her back or hand Nigeria over to looters once again or you allow looters to allow stolen funds to work for them to seize power. No, that will not happen.
“The President will be interested that much in who succeeds him but he is not going to impose anybody.
“Rather, he is going to create a free and fair process and Nigerians are then going to determine who the next president should be.”