Buhari, Osinbajo will do their best for Nigeria, says Blair
I’ll not interfere in selection of NASS leaders, says President-elect
FORMER British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair has expressed optimism that the President-elect, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo would live up to the expectations of Nigerians.
Also, the President-elect, yesterday said he would not interfere in the selection of principal officers of the National Assembly. In a statement by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari described as false, insinuations in the media that he was in support of particular persons to emerge as principal officers of the National Assembly.
Speaking with reporters after a closed door meeting with Buhari at the Defence House, Abuja, Blair said the peaceful and transparent manner the just concluded elections were held has projected Nigeria in positive light in the comity of nations of the world.
He expressed the willingness of Britain to support the Buhari- led administration which would be inaugurated on May 29 this year. According to him: “In the last few weeks, Nigeria has earned respect throughout the whole world. There is enormous support for Nigeria now in the international community.
The support takes into consideration the challenges that lie ahead and there is great confidence in the country. “This is an election in which the country showed the majority of democracies the spirit and character of its people and the President-elect and Vice President-elect. It is a leadership that I know is determined to do its best for the country. Obviously, the future and destiny of Nigeria lies in the hands of its people.
“I just want to say to the President-elect that there is tremendous support for him and the country at this moment and all of us, in whatever way we can stand ready to support him and help him. It is a moment of great challenges which bother on the life of the people as well as their security and so on.
“If the same spirit and character that defined the election can be taken through these coming years to address the challenges, I think we can all have great confidence in the times ahead.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to see you again here in Nigeria and wish you and your team the best in the times head.”
Buhari said the import of his parley with Blair centred on the need to adhere to the rule of law, noting: “We had a meeting and discussed how Britain and the United States were helping us in making sure that we conducted ourselves according to our constitution.
‘‘The fact that it has been so successful is a major relief for us and to all people of conscience throughout the world. I thank the former British Prime Minister for his concern for Nigeria and Nigerians, in what he is prepared to do by continuing to help us as a country and as a people.”
The President-elect, who was said to have been under pressure by well placed leaders of the party to support their nominees for key principal positions in the National Assembly, maintained that he does not belong to any of the camps pushing for the emergence of their respective candidates.
The President-elect stated that he is willing to work with any person chosen to head the legislative arm irrespective of what part of the country he or she originates from. “I am prepared to work with any leader that the House or Senate selects. It doesn’t matter who the person is or where he or she is from, Buhari said.”
He added that these insinuations were probably born out of people’s expectations based on the way things had happened in the past, but reminded Nigerians that change had truly come.
“There is due process for the selection of leaders of the National Assembly,” Buhari said, “and I will not interfere with that process.” “Nigeria has indeed entered a new dispensation,” he said. “My administration does not intend to repeat the same mistakes made by previous governments.