• President’ll attend APC convention –Lalong
From Gyang Bere, Jos, Fred Ezeh, Abuja and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has disclosed that President Muhammdu Buhari will return to the country in two weeks.
Buhari, who has been receiving medical treatment in the United Kingdom since May 7 hosted the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Oyegun and some governors of the ruling party in London on Sunday. A picture of the meeting trended on social media and, for the first time in 76 days, Nigerians saw their president.
Speaking with BBC yesterday, Okorocha, who was in the delegation that met Buhari, said the president was in high spirits.
Shortly after Sunday’s meeting, Okorocha had said the London visit had put the “merchants of lies” out of business.
“Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling. All those who look up to fake news can find better use for their time,” Okorocha had said.
According to the governor, the president laughed when he was asked to react to the negative things being said about him. Okorocha said Buhari was completely unperturbed by the “cocktail of lies” and, instead, sent his best wishes to Nigerians.
Corroborating his Imo State counterpart, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said President Buhari is recuperating very fast and would return before the National Convention of the APC.
Lalong stated this during the swearing in of Management Committee Chairmen and Secretaries of the 17 Local Government Areas, held at Government House Rayfield. He said the cheering news about the recuperation of the president has caused more devastation for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who were celebrating the Supreme Court judgement of the party and the absence of the Buhari in the country.
“We are happy that our president is recuperating very fast, we are sure that he will come back to Nigeria before the National Convention of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abuja. I know the opposition parties don’t want him back, but by the grace of God, he will be with us,” Lalong said.
Similarly, President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Chinonso Obasi, yesterday confirmed that he had spoken to close allies of President Buhari who are in London and they confirmed that the president will soon return from his medical vacation abroad.
Comrade Obasi, in a statement he issued in Abuja yesterday, said, “my conversation with the Presidency yesterday in London, at about 2:17pm Nigerian time, gave me more hope that President Buhari will soon be back, alive and able to return to his seat.”
He, thus, appealed to Nigerians, particularly those in positions of trust, to be objective in obligations assigned to them in national interest. “In the same vein, individual players and stakeholders in the polity should be careful with their utterances as the progress, unity and peace of our Nigeria is non-negotiable.”
Meanwhile, Governor Okorocha has reiterated that he will not contest the 2019 presidential election if Buhari is contesting. He said for him to contest any presidential election, he must first get the endorsement of 10 million Nigerians.
Okorocha stated this at the weekend when about two thousand delegates of Rochas Youth Movement from the six geo- political zones visited him at the Government House in Oqwerri.
“For your request that I run for presidency, which I have tried three times, I have respect for one leader, President Buhari, I was in APP and we contested presidential elections. After APP, we parted ways, but when it came to the issue of putting the nation back on its foot, I saw a man with extra-ordinary qualities, who does not think about himself, who, in fact, hates himself for the sake of his nation. This made me give him every support I could muster from the South-East. I was like the only voice from this side of the world singing the song that this man can change this nation for good. I trust President Muhammadu Buhari,” Okorocha said.