The presidency said yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari was not power drunk.
A statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, reacted to allegations by former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar.
But the presidency agreed that President Buhari was uncompromising against corruption.
The statement reads: “Former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar was quoted by a foreign news medium as accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being “very uncompromising, also power drunk; (and) who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.
“Rather than use the name of President Buhari to buoy his bid to get the presidential ticket of a party, whose flag has been flying at half mast since it got trounced at the polls in 2015, the former vice-president needs to be told that President Buhari is truly uncompromising, but only when it comes to looting the common patrimony of Nigerians and squandering their riches.
“President Buhari is uncompromising in the quest to restore probity and accountability to public office. He is uncompromising in cleaning the rot Nigeria was consigned into pre-2015, thus the war against corruption is being fought without fear or favour. The President is resolute in the determination to ensure that Nigeria is no longer a mono-economy, depending only on oil.
“Yes, President Buhari is single-minded in effecting change in every area of Nigerian life. So, Alhaji Abubakar is right, if that was what he meant by the President being “uncompromising.”
“But power drunk? No! And being a man “who will not be ready to leave power without a fight?” Never! Not President Buhari, who has demonstrated in many ways that he is a committed democrat, though also a retired military general. He has no apology about that. Through a sterling military career, he served Nigeria with his heart and might, before venturing into partisan politics.
“President Buhari, in many ways, has wielded power with decency, and as a means of serving the people, rather than for personal ends.
“If there’s one person not intoxicated by power, it is President Buhari, and millions of Nigerians know this. That is why they will invest him with power again next year, knowing that he won’t misuse or misapply what has been entrusted to him.
“Former VP Abubakar may want to borrow a leaf from the decorous language used by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in answering his recent statement on the restructuring debate. That is the hallmark of statesmen, and not crying wolf where none exists, which is what the allegation of being uncompromising and power drunk truly is.
“President Buhari is actuated by service to country, and nothing else. So, there couldn’t be anything like “not ready to leave power without a fight.”
“Indeed, the insinuation of a fight is the mindset of a man who is either undemocratic, or has seen defeat staring him, and his party, in the face.
“Let the former vice-president rest assured that there will be no ‘fight’ over power in Nigeria. Not under President Buhari’s watch. The people don’t want a fight. It is some political leaders we must beseech to eschew pugnacity and mind their language.”