The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari is sick and a cabal is running his government.
He also said he is under pressure from many Nigerians and foreigners to run for the office of president in 2019.
According to a report by The Punch, Mr Tambuwal said these while addressing youth and students at the Governor’s Office in Sokoto who were on hand to show thank him for involving the youth in his government.
The governor recently left the All Progressives Congress (APC) under which flag he was elected for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is widely expected to run for president.
“We are aware that the President is affected by serious challenges of health and is being held captive by a cabal that runs Nigeria for their personal interests,” he said.
“We supported Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to become President unconditionally and we admit that Buhari has integrity but that’s not the only requirement for leadership,” he said.
The president is currently on a vacation in London with the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo acting on his behalf.
Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, had in a statement said the president would be on a 10-day vacation.
“Buhari faced a major medical challenge in 2017 that saw him spending the better part of the year outside the country,” Mr Tambuwal said.
“He left the country on January 19, 2017, on what the Presidency described then as a medical vacation.
“When the trip was prolonged, presidential aides announced that the President would be staying back in the British capital to enable him to collect results of some medical tests he did.
“He returned to the country on March 10, 2017, after a 49-day medical sojourn, saying he had never been that sick in his life. He then gave an indication that he would return to London for further checkup.
“After missing public events, including three consecutive weekly Federal Executive Council meetings which raised anxiety in the country, Buhari on May 7, 2017, returned to London for medical consultations and returned to the country on August 19, 2017.”
Mr Tambuwal said he was under pressure to join the 2019 presidential race but was still making consultations.
“I have been under intense pressure from various quarters in Nigeria including leaders of the country and friends of Nigeria outside the country to contest the presidency.
“But leadership is a collective decision and I have never asked to be made a leader at any time in my life. So, my aspiration will be determined by my people and after that, I will make my political decision known in a matter of days.”
The governor said the youth are the leaders of tomorrow and that the future for a greater Nigeria lies with the younger generation.
He assured them of his commitment to their welfare and empowerment.
“Someone recently referred to me as “a boy”, which is really a compliment that puts me on the side of the youths, who are the strength of our nation,” he said.
In what is an obvious reference to the scandal of certificate forgery in which Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun is entrapped, Mr Tambuwal enjoined the youth particularly the students among them to make sure they participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC).
He said his government would not accept anyone who refused to undergo the national service.
Premium Times exposed Mrs Adeosun as forging a certificate exempting her from the mandatory one year national service.
In spite of the exposure, she has retained her office and President Buhari has been silent on the scandal.