Do not judge me harshly: I Didn’t Say I’m Too Old To Govern Nigeria – PMB

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday spurned reports suggesting he regretted that his age would limit the extent to which he could perform in office as President.

The said reports in some national dailies (LEADERSHIP not inclusive) has interpreted what Buhari told the Nigerian community at the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday to mean the President said he would have loved being a President when he was at a younger age.

“I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do”, he had stated.

But clarifying on what he actually meant when he made reference to his age, Buhari who said nothing could be farther from the truth that the said reports observed that on the contrary, as the saying goes, “old wines are tasty”.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President noted that the Buhari Nigerians have in him today “is a man, like old wine, that has got tastier.

“At 72, yes, he can’t be called a youth, but he has in quantum the wisdom, the patience, temperance and forbearance that age brings”, Adesina added.

Recalling that the President himself had rightly told the Nigerian community that he was speaking extempore because he wanted to “speak from the heart”, Adesina said the Buhari was only urging them “to be good ambassadors of Nigeria, a country he went to the warfront to keep together”.

In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday evening, Adesina said, “Still extolling the virtues of our country, Nigeria, the President, who had served as a military governor of the then North-Eastern State at 33 years old, declared:

“The above comments have been reported by some newspapers to mean that the President was saying he was too old to cope with the demands of his office. Far from it”.

He added that the president has brought all these virtues of wisdom, patience, temperance and forbearance to the presidency to make a difference in the country’s national life.

Still recalling what Buhari said, the presidential spokesman said, “The President assured the Nigerian community in South Africa that his Administration will make a positive impact on the country. And that he would do.
“Insecurity as symbolized by insurgency will be brought to an end, corruption will be fought to a standstill, employment will be created for the teeming army of unemployed, the economy will be revived, and the quality of life of Nigerians will take an upward swing again.

“These will not come by a sudden flight, but they will happen in the life of this Administration. At 72, the Buhari persona has not changed. He remains the simple, honest, incorruptible patriot he has always been.
“And because Nigerians earnestly desired change, that was why they voted for him overwhelmingly at the general elections in March, this year. All the virtues and values of the Buhari persona will be deployed into governance in the weeks and months ahead”.

He further said the Nigerian community in South Africa “was enthralled as President Buhari spoke with them on Monday”, adding that “in fact, leaving the venue was an effort, as they swarmed round the President, who shook hands with as many of them as he could.

“They took his message well. That is the essence of good wine. It gets better with age. And it is a message for all Nigerians, both at home and in the Diaspora”, he explained.

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