President Muhammadu Buhari may have subtly declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019 when he solicited for votes during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire.
Buhari who is currently in that country for a two-day African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Summit told the gathering that he had to wait for the two governors who accompanied him so that they would convince their people to vote for him in the future.
Flanked by Governors Emmanuel Udom and Mohammed Abubakar of Akwa Ibom and Bauchi states respectively as well as the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, President Buhari said:
“First, I want to apologize for keeping you for too long sitting. This is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting. This is why I came along with them so we are going to meet you, then you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the President, I think that will be another vote for me in the future.”
He assured the gathering that his administration would reduce the number of Nigerians illegally heading to Europe though the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea by providing basic social amenities, security and agricultural incentives.
The President further urged all Nigerians residing in Cote d’Ivoire to conduct themselves well and be good ambassadors, warning that the Embassy would not hesitate to repatriate those who tarnish the image of the country abroad.
Beyond this obvious hint, President Buhari has not spoken of his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election although many governors and supporters of the APC have endorsed him for a second term in office.