A member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kasim Afegbua, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari against seeking re-election in the 2019 general elections.
He believes that so far, the government has acted below expectations and therefore opined that the party allows the younger generation the opportunity to lead.
“For me I think it’s time for Mr President, when he will clocking 77 in 2019 to please take a bow and that will be a hallmark of integrity, of honour and encourage the party to use its machinery to provoke new leadership – a younger mind who has the capacity and a hands-on approach to developmental issues and challenges that confront the country as we speak,” he said.
Afegbua made this known during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
Speaking further, he recalled that the president had once said after his return from his medical vacation, that he was advised to eat and sleep more but this he believes isn’t what the nation needs at the moment.
“For a country like Nigeria that is very desirous of serious leadership, leadership that keeps itself awake when other nations are sleeping, I do not think that we need that kind of attitude to governance.
“India is growing at such a pace because it keeps itself awake. The presidency is such that you are so encumbered with responsibilities that you don’t even have time to sleep because there are challenges here and there.
“So the president should be talking about taking quick decisions when confronted with challenges and developmental issues so that we can know the mindset of the president at every point in time.”
Also reacting to Buhari’s comments about taking his time to respond to issues, he stressed that the nation should not be made to move at the pace of its leader but instead the reverse should be the case.
“Times are gone when those kind of approach to governance was the order of the day.
“In this contemporary age and time, we need a President who is ready to confront the challenges, present himself or appear at the point of crisis and offer presidential verdicts or commentaries that will now gauge the mood of the country.
“I don’t want the country to move at the pace of the President, rather, the president should move at the pace of the country.”
Furthermore, Afegbua criticised the President’s meeting with some leaders of the APC on Thursday, describing it as “belated”.
He was of the opinion that the government should rather take more deliberate steps to resolving some of the issues facing the country rather than organizing dinners.
“As a member of the APC, having meetings with leaders of the APC at this point for me as a Nigerian I think it is belated.
“Belated in the sense that the mood in the country does not call for politicking. The mood of the country calls for moral healing because there are a lot of divisive tendencies here and there and I expect the president to visit Benue state, call the leaders of Benue state, share their aspirations with them in these moments of grief, the killings and all of that then call for a meeting with representatives of Miyetti Allah and also leaders from the Benue axis with a view to finding permanent solutions to the crisis that has engulfed that state in recent times.
“This is not the time to be calling people for dinner. We are not going to celebrate the president for calling a dinner party or a tea party,” he stressed.
Also reacting to the state of the polity on the programme, a former presidential aide, Akin Oshuntokun, said it was difficult to make sense of the way the government behaves and what exactly it hopes to achieve, hence describing the situation as “a very brazen case of political mismanagement”.
He said: “Let’s imagine he was not president and he was the leading opposition candidate as he was three years ago, how will he be responding to issues now?
“If you can conceive that, then it will give you an inkling of the kind of grave situation we are in.”
Speaking further, Oshuntokun accused the President of being fond of talking about national unity whereas according to him, he is yet to take any practical steps in that regard.
“How do we build national unity by the kind of policy we have witnessed in the past two weeks,” he questioned.
“Look at the headship of all the security agencies coming from the same geopolitical sections – the northern Muslims, that is patently against the spirit of federal character.
“It is not in the interest of the country, I am yet to see how objectively anyone can characterize that in the interest of the land or in the interest of national unity.
He, however, noted that “going forward, we will have to look beyond the two parties that we have or beyond the status quo to see if we want to retain our sanity and to start looking for how the country might be salvaged”.