He said that at 72 he has in quantum, the wisdom, the patience, the temperance and forbearance that age brings and has brought all these virtues to the presidency to make a difference in our national life.
The president said this ,yesterday, in Abuja, in response to reports quoting him as saying while addressing the Nigerian community in Johannesburg, South Africa, that his age will limit his performance.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president’s comments in South Africa were totally taken out of context to mean that he was too old for the demands of the office.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, clarifying remarks given by the President to the Nigerian community in Johannesburg in a statement titled- “Like Good Wine, President Buhari Gets Better With Age”, said:
“Speaking extempore, because according to him, he wanted to “speak from the heart,” the President urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria, a country he went to the war front to keep together.
“Still extolling the virtues of our country, Nigeria, the President, who had served as a military governor of the then North-Eastern State at 33 years old, declared: ”I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do.”
“As the saying goes, “old wines are tasty” and the President Buhari we have today is a man, like old wine, that has got tastier. At 72, yes, he can’t be called a youth, but he has in quantum the wisdom, the patience, temperance and forbearance that age brings. And all these virtues he has brought to the Presidency, to make a difference in our national life.
“The President assured the Nigerian community in South Africa that his administration will make a positive impact on the country.
“Insecurity, as symbolized by insurgency, will be brought to an end, corruption will be fought to a standstill, employment will be created for the teeming army of unemployed, the economy will be revived, and the quality of life of Nigerians will take an upward swing again. These will not come by a sudden flight, but they will happen in the life of this administration.
“At 72, the Buhari persona has not changed. He remains the simple, honest, incorruptible patriot he has always been. And because Nigerians earnestly desired change, that was why they voted for him overwhelmingly at the general elections in March, this year. All the virtues and values of the Buhari persona will be deployed into governance in the weeks and months ahead.
“The Nigerian community in South Africa was enthralled as President Buhari spoke with them on Monday. In fact, leaving the venue was an effort, as they swarmed around the President, who shook hands with as many of them as he could.