Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that the due process followed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the party’s special convention and presidential primary that produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the party’s flagbearer was a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s impartiality.
Adesina who stated this in a piece titled, ‘Knock, Knock! Who’s there? said despite his indication that he had a favourite candidate, the President walked the talk of his promise that he would leave a legacy of a free, fair and credible process for the country.
The Presidential Spokesman added that while one of Buhari’s predecessors in office allegedly imposed his successor, the President refrained from imposing or naming a consensus candidate for the All Progressives Congress as his successor but allowed due process to be followed.
He wrote, “It was human to have a favorite in such situation, and the President did no wrong. But would you unduly favor the person? Would you throw your weight around, ride roughshod over the others, and impose your favored one on your political party and the nation? We have seen it before. Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, did it with Umaru Yar’Adua. He did same, though to a lesser extent with Dr Goodluck Jonathan. Can Buhari do it and remain a democrat, fair, impartial? Knock, Knock! Who’s There?
“The main thing on the agenda was usually who would be the preferred aspirant. What part of the country would he come from? Would the President name his favorite, or leave it to democratic principle of voting? How did the President do it? How did he remain neutral, when he had earlier confessed that he had a favourite? It’s a test of fairness, being a democrat or not, and the President passed it, despite all the odds.
“Each time a consultative meeting ended, there were twists and contortions to whatever the President said. They imported and imputed all sorts of interpretations, mostly unfounded and incorrect. Oh, this is what he meant. He said this and that. This is what he was actually saying. He just didn’t come straight. The man held his peace.
“Primary Election Day came. And the President still remained neutral, despite having confessed that he had a favorite aspirant. How did he do it? Strange. Supernatural. Curious. Knock, Knock! Who’s There? But President Buhari remained unobtrusive, demure, self-effacing, till a candidate finally emerged.
“While the process lasted, I had observed people who were core Buharists, but now on different sides of the divide, go for one another’s jugular. Some were virulent, odious, descending to the level of indecency. But now that the race is over, can they sheathe their swords? Is there anything in life that should make us become indecent, uncouth in both language and action? Fie! Fie, I say.
“The day of decision will come in February. May God spare us till then, and beyond. President Buhari has done his level best for his party, and the country. He has been beleaguered by some forces and interests since 2015, and it had largely been about the quest for power. He is exiting decently, orderly, doing his best till the last day. The onus is now on Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and the other candidates to answer the ring at the door. Knock, Knock! Who’s There?”