Tony Momoh backs Buhari’s reelection bid, says ‘performance, not age should be yardstick to elect leader’

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Reactions have continued to trail the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek reelection in 2019, with Chief Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information, saying the move is a good cause for Nigerians to celebrate.
Momoh, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), said the President had laid the foundation for development and a second term would enable him to deliver more democratic dividends.
“The declaration by the President is in order as he has the constitutional right to seek re-election.
“Again, I think the President had done well, he has laid the foundation for sustainable development, so he deserves another term.
“I congratulate the President on the declaration, I celebrate it and I think it is a good cause for other Nigerians to celebrate,” he said.
Momoh acknowledged that the country had many challenges which required more work to be done and expressed strong belief that the President would rise to the occasion.
On reservations expressed by some Nigerians to the decision, Momoh said whoever did not support the President’s declaration was entitled to his opinion.
He, however, said that the facts available had clearly shown that the President was doing his best for the country.
Momoh said the ability to perform and not age should be a yardstick to elect a leader.
He said the age of the President was not an issue as the constitution only stated the minimum age one could contest for the presidency and not the seal.
The former minister urged Nigerians to give the President the necessary support to realise his development goals for the country.
Momoh said granting of waiver to the National Working Committee members of the party to contest congresses was in order.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong in that. The party in its wisdom has decided that its executive members can contest in the congresses without having to resign 30 days before. That is fine.
“If it is the party’s decision, I do not think I have problem with that,” he said.
Another chieftain of the APC in Lagos State, Chief Tajudeen Olusi, also declared the president’s decision as a welcome development.
Olusi, a member of the APC Elders Forum in the state, said that the President meant well for the country but would need the support of Nigerians to finish “the unfinished business.”
“The declaration by the President to seek another term is a welcome development.
“We in Lagos APC have always supported him and have always believed in his ability to deliver.
“Nigerians had fixed their hope on the President and I urge citizens to support him for another term as he continues the journey to deliver the goods,” he said.
On the granting of waiver to National Working Committee members of the party if they wish to contest in the party’s congresses, he described the step as appropriate.
He said the waiver, which gave the executive privilege to contest without resigning 30 days before congresses was in line with best democratic practices.
“It is a welcome development. It is in line with best democratic practices because the party has spoken.
“Moreover, it will give another opportunity to outgoing members of the party’s National Working Committee and prevent grudges in the party.
“However, in as much as they are free to contest, the members will decide who their party leaders are at the end of the day,” he said.
A community leader in Surulere area of Lagos, Mr Abdulfatai Adefemi, in his reaction, also commended the president for deciding to seek a second term.
He said the president had tried his best over the years to make the country better.
“I believe Buhari is trying his best. It is not easy to repair something that has been spoilt for 16 years. It is not easy to rebuild Nigeria in three to four years,” he said.
Adefemi said Buhari, however, needed to do more in the area of security and care for the elderly.
Meanwhile, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, member of the KOWA Party, in a statement on Wednesday, said the 2015 elections showed that a sitting president could be unseated.
She said that despite the fact that the President has said his decision to seek reelection is based on the clamour by Nigerians, the result of the 2019 elections would determine if this was so.
Sonaiya, among other things, scored the Buhari-led administration low in security, especially in its handling of the herdsmen/farmers problem in the country.

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