President Muhammadu Buhari has said his much publicised 800 meters walk on Sallah day was not to prove his physical fitness but only to accord respect to people greeting him.

But a spokesman of the president, Garba Shehu had said Buhari showed his fitness to seek another term by trekking a distance of 800 meters.

Shehu’s statement consequently attracted criticisms.

A former Vice-President and a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, mocked Buhari over the comment.


#BuhariChallenge also trended on Twitter, with different innuendos by the president’s opponents.

Buhari, however speaking when he received some socio-political groups at his private residence in Daura, Katsina state, on Friday said his walk was not to prove his fitness in his bid to seek re-election in 2019.

The President said he had already made his intention known to Nigerians about his political ambition.

“Let me react to some media reports about my trekking on Sallah day insinuating that I trekked to demonstrate my fitness for 2019 presidential election,” he said.

‘‘They were not seeing me so I came down so they could see me. I didn’t need to convince anyone about my health and the decision to contest for a second term- a decision that I made public in April this year.

“After the prayer, I noticed that many people wanted to see and I was in a black vehicle and security men were blocking them from seeing me.

“So, I opted to trek in spite the security implications because I knew nothing would happen to me by the grace of Allah.”