© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FLASHBACK: ‘At 72, there’s a limit to what I can do’, Buhari said in 2015
President Muhammadu Buhari has officially declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election, saying his decision was in response to the “clamour by Nigerians”.
If Buhari, who is currently 75 years old, wins in 2019, he will be 80 years old by the time his second tenure expires in 2023.
In the first two years of his administration, Buhari spent more than 150 days in London on medical treatment, leaving many worried over his health status.
Even Buhari himself had told a gathering of Nigerian citizens resident in South Africa in June 2015, a month after he was sworn in, that there was a limit to what he could do given that age was no longer on his side.
“I wish I became Head of State when I was a Governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do,” Buhari told his audience on the sidelines of the 25th assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nevertheless, he promised: “Our government is determined to secure the country, manage the economy, create employment and fight corruption. This APC administration intends to kill corruption in Nigeria. We will do our best.”
Almost three years down the line, the Buhari administration is constantly in the news for various performance-related flaws many didn’t expect when he won election in 2015.
At 33, Buhari was appointed Military Governor of the North-Eastern State in August 1975, before going on to become Head of State in 1983, aged 41, after overthrowing then President Shehu Shagari in a bloodless coup d’etat.
If Buhari, at 72, admitted that he was a little disadvantaged age-wise to effectively run the country, what would the man himself then say about himself should he win in 2019, when he would be 76?