Before he was elected, President Muhammadu Buhari told members of his party that he would seek only one term. This implied that he did not intend at that time to run in 2019, said the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Aisha Alhassan.
“In 2014/2015 he said he was going to run for only one time to clean up the mess that the (previous) PDP government did in Nigeria. And I took him for his word that he is not contesting in 2019,” Mrs. Alhassan said.
President Buhari took power in 2015 but due to illness, has been absent for much of this year due. He is yet to come out to the public to say if he will seek a second term.
Mrs. Alhassan said in an interview that if Buhari sought re-election she would resign. She would support former vice president Atiku Abubakar if he decides to run instead.
“If today Mr. President says he is running in 2019, I will go to him respectfully and thank him for giving me an opportunity to serve, and then tell him that I have to resign because my political father may be running,” she said.
Atiku Abubakar was vice president from 1999 to 2007 as part of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 2014, he joined Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mrs. Alhassan’s comments could increase doubts over whether Buhari would run re-election.
The president’s two spokesmen declined to comment on the minister’s remarks.
President Buhari returned back to Nigeria after three months of medical leave in Britain for an unknown and unspecified illness.
Many Nigerians doubt whether President Buhari is healthy enough to serve another term in Nigeria, which is the most populous country and has the biggest economy in Africa.