ANYONE aiming to be president in 2023 will have to do it all by themselves for President Muhammadu Buhari says it is not part of his plans to groom a successor for the 2023 presidential election.
At the State House Tuesday, while hosting some members of progressives in academics, The president said, “let those who would want to be president try as much as I did. And I believe that those who are interested know that I tried three times.”
Earlier, the spokesperson of the group, Dr Bolariwa Bolajim had called on the president to commence the proceed of grooming his successor, who would take over the mantle of leadership from him in 2023.
Said Bolaji: “In another four year time, you would want to go and rest; then who takes over from you?
“We are suggesting that you bring a vibrant youth among people who have shown interest, bring them in so that you start saddling them with responsibilities and you will be watching them over these next four years so that when you want to leave the circle, you would have vibrant youths to hand over to.
“This is one of the ways the gains of this government can be made to be continues – so that there will be continuity in what you are doing.’’
An unimpressed President Buhari noted that he would rather stay away from identifying anybody as his successor so as not to create problem for such a person.
According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the president said: “To me this is very funny. I think if I identify anybody I’d create more problem for him or for her.
“So, I’d rather keep my mouth shut. Let those who would want to be president try as much as I did. And I believe that those who are interested know that I tried three times.
“And the first time, I thank God and technology, permanent voters card (PVC). Before, they just go to the television and read the results. They say anybody who disagreed should go to court.
“And most of my supporters are looking for next day’s meal. They don’t have money to give to lawyers. So I said God dey. So, the first time God and technology came along, PVC they couldn’t rig the election, so I won.”
Buhari challenged the youths not to not take things for granted but to continue to work harder.
He told the visiting professionals, “I tried to work hard but I think you have a lot more to do you as intellectuals so that you correctly document Nigeria’s political development. It’s very important for the next generation.
“A lot of our young chaps are taking things for granted. Imagine to contest election three times ending up in Supreme Court three times. It needs a lot of conviction you know, and hard work.
“But people take success for granted. They say, ah, he’s the president. They think I just closed my eyes and I got it?”
The progressives in academics, were drawn from different tertiary institutions across the country. They presented three proposals on revitalization of education, power and agriculture to the president possible approval.