I’m fit, PDP Is Desperate – Buhari

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives
Congress, Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari
(retd.), has denied media reports that he is
terminally ill.
But shortly after he made the denial in Abuja on
Sunday, the Peoples Democratic Party challenged
him to take a brisk walk or jog round a stadium if,
indeed, he was hale and hearty.
Some newspapers and on-line publications (The
Punch not inclusive) had in their Sunday editions,
published that the former military ruler was to be
flown out of the country for medical attention.
Buhari told journalists that the report on his
state of health was orchestrated by some
individuals not only to gain undue political
advantage but to divert public attention from
corruption which had assumed the front burner
of national discourse.
He said, “There were reports that I was to jet out
for medical check-up yesterday (Saturday) but
here I am. I was in Nasarawa and Benue states
yesterday (Saturday) and tomorrow (today), I
will be in two states.
“The day after tomorrow (Tuesday), I will be in
two more states. I sincerely don’t know how they
got the impression that I was sick. I had a cold
but it did not stop me from going through my
schedule.”
Buhari added that a medical document
purportedly confirming his alleged poor state of
health was fake.
The APC presidential candidate said, “The
Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital said
the documents are forged.
“This desperation is beyond my comprehension.
The issue we are letting Nigerians know is that
there has been much corruption in this country
in the last 16 years. The Peoples Democratic
Party has literally destroyed this country.”
When asked to make a categorical statement on
his health, Buhari jokingly asked the reporter,
“How old are you, 50 years? I can tell you that
if we go to the field, you will not stay as long as I
would.”
The APC candidate also used the occasion to
debunk allegations that his tenure at the defunct
Petroleum Trust Fund was riddled with
corruption.
He said that the PTF was investigated and the
report presented to the then President Olusegun
Obasanjo, who recently confirmed it.
Buhari said, “That one has been cleared. There
was no fraud in the PTF. Gen. Obasanjo recently
answered that question; he confirmed that there
was an investigation and the report was brought
to him and there was nothing on the ground as
far as my management and chairmanship of the
PTF were concerned.
“The person who did the investigation as
President cleared me.”
The former military ruler also spoke on the
controversy surrounding his educational
qualification, saying he was surprised that it was
coming up now.
He said, “I have contested three times under the
same rules set by INEC (Independent National
Electoral Commission) where there is a basic
educational qualification you must have.
“I was allowed to contest all these elections
because my certificate was in order and there
were individuals that wrote to the United States
War College and the college answered them and
they were published in the newspapers.
“So, I really don’t understand this desperation or
misinformation that is being passed around. They
will do nobody any good because our minds are
being taken away from the serious issues of
corruption and incompetence by the PDP.”
Commenting on the state of the economy, the
APC candidate said despite repeated denials by
the Federal Government, “the truth remains
that Nigeria is broke.”
Buhari said, “How many states could pay their
workers’ salaries? In December, many families
went hungry during Christmas because states did
not pay the salaries of their workers. So why
should they be talking about an individual’s
health instead of paying salaries.”
Also, the APC in a statement by the Directorate of
Media and Publicity of its Presidential Campaign
Organisation accused the PDP of circulating a
fake medical report on Buhari’s health.
It said it was ludicrous for the PDP to throw
caution to the wind in its “shameless” effort to
the pull wool over the eyes of Nigerians who are
yearning for a change of guard at the federal
level.
The directorate called on Nigerians to the
errors on the letterhead conveying the medical
report, which wrongly identifies the institution as
Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital instead of
Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital.
The statement partly read, “The attention of the
APC Presidential Campaign Organisation has been
brought to the circulation of a fake medical
record of Gen, Buhari.
“We are able to track the circulation of the post
on a social media platform and we know that the
information emanated from the Facebook handle
of one of Governor Ayo Fayose’s aides.
“It is noteworthy that the authorities at ABUTH
have given a clean bill on Gen. Buhari’s health
status.
“It is also noteworthy for Nigerians to understand
that the PDP will stop at nothing to cast aspersion
on the person of Gen. Buhari.
“We knew that the PDP would become unbridled
at a point in its desperation to avert the defeat
coming its way in the countdown to the February
14 presidential election, but to anticipate that the
PDP would go as dirty as spreading falsehood on
an individual’s state of health could not have
been imaginable.
“What is important is that Nigerians know today
that our country is not healthy. They know that
the PDP has driven the country to a near state of
comatose.”
But the PDP said instead of denying the report,
Buhari should jog round a stadium to prove to
Nigerians that he was healthy enough to rule the
country.
The party, at a news conference in Abuja by the
Director of Media and Publicity of its Presidential
Campaign Organisation Femi Fani-Kayode, said
the rumour that the former Head of State was
suffering from prostrate cancer was worrisome.
The PCO said that it was incumbent on everyone
to pray for Buhari if the rumour was indeed true.
It added, “The rumour that he is suffering from
prostrate cancer is exceptionally worrying and it
is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to
pray for him if this rumour is true.
“We are constrained to urge him to prove to the
Nigerian people that he really is as fit as a fiddle,
as the spokesman of his PCO has said, by taking a
brisk walk or even jogging around the perimeter
of the stadium before any of his rallies.
“If he can do that, it will go a long way to allay
the fears of many.”
Asked if the PDP was in possession of any medical
report indicating that Buhari was suffering from
any terminal ailment, Fani-Kayode said no.
He said that the days of hiding things like a
presidential candidate’s health status from the
public were long over.
Culled from PUNCH

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