The social media was abuzz yesterday as prominent Nigerians took to their Twitter handles to react to Tuesday’s report that President Muhammadu Buhari made a 800 metre walk to his residence after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers in Daura, Katsina State amid cheers from supporters.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had said the trek proved that the president is healthy enough to seek re-election.
The eminent citizens reacting through the hash tag, #WorkNotWalk, maintained that the president’s trek should not be the yardstick for his suitability.
Former vice president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar on his account, @atiku said: “I regularly jog more than a mile & exercise. But it will be pedestrian of me to ask Nigerians to vote for me because of that. I want my party - the PDP and Nigerians – to vote for me because I WORK not because I WALK. I will work to create jobs. I won’t walk to create an illusion.”
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce @benmurraybruce stated that walking is not a criterion for leadership, adding: “Nigerians do not need a president that can walk. There are over 180 million Nigerians that know how to walk. Walking is not special. What this nation needs is a president that can work.”
Aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, @renoomokri remarked: ” @GarShehu says @MBuhari is good for a second term not because of the economy he gave Nigeria (he wrecked it) not for the security he gave (Nigeria is insecure), not for the jobs he gave Nigeria (we lost 11 million jobs under him). But because he walked 800 metres.”
Another presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore, said by fitness, he was best qualified to lead the country. Noting: “@ngrpresident Buhari is celebrating an 800 metre walk, a few hours later another aspirant Abubakar @atiku is celebrating one mile on a treadmill. In 2017, I ran @nycmarathon and finished under four hours. You can now guess who is most qualified to be Nigeria’s president.”
Also, presidential hopeful, Prince Eniola Ojajuni, queried: “Has the trek solved the infrastructure deficiency, troubled economy, security threats against Nigerians and other issues confronting the nation under the APC government? We should be committed to issues that will drive growth and development in the country rather than irrelevances.”
Political activist, Nura Sabo @omonlakiki stated: “The era of a president who can walk is over. It is time for a president who can WORK for Nigeria.”
Public analyst Oyewole Michael, @Rolex7Michael argued that the celebration was an indication that something is wrong with the president.
His words: “With this narrative the Buharists are trying to push, it means something is truly wrong with their principal and needs urgent attention. Since when did walking by a president become something to applaud?”