The federal government has described talks about 2019 election as a distraction.
The government said this in response to the scorching criticism of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Obasanjo asked the president not to overstretch the tolerance of Nigerians by seeking reelection.
He also said the Buhari’s administration had reached its limit and that asking it to do more was like telling someone to give what he does not have.
Obasanjo said while Buhari was going after his opponent, he had turned a blind eye to his allies in the presidency.
But in a statement by Lai Mohammed, minister of information, the government said Buhari’s focus at the moment is to fulfil the mandate which Nigerians gave to him.
“On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return,” the statement read.
“However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the president at this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his administration by successive past administrations.
“He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!”
Taunting the ex-president, Mohammed thanked Obasanjo for taking time off his “busy schedule to pen such a long statement”.
He added that the Buhari administration had taken his admonition in good faith.
“We have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his special press statement,” he said.
Mohammed also said the government was working hard to resolve the clashes between farmers and herdsmen and to also address the issues Obasanjo raised.