Buhari meets APC govs, urges patience from Nigerians
PRESIDENT-ELECT, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has called on Nigerians to exercise patience in the task of rebuilding the country, stating that Rome was not built in a day.
Buhari, who spoke yesterday when he met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors at his Defence House residence in Abuja, said the problem of infrastructure deficit, insecurity, falling standard of education, non-payment of workers’ salaries and youth unemployment were some of the daunting challenges that would require patience and careful planning to fix.
Accompanied by his Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, he elicited the support of the governors to enable his administration redress the multifaceted problems bedeviling the country.
Recalling how members of the legacy and other progressive elements overcame the challenges during the formative years of the APC, he applauded the governors for deeming it fit to congratulate him on his victory at the recently concluded general elections.
Buhari, who later met behind closed doors with the governors, explained that there was nothing wrong with the terms of reference for his transition committee considering that his administration requires all the information on the nation’s state of affairs to be able to hit the ground running.
Though he did not elaborate on how he intends to fix the country, he hinted that much sacrifice would be required from Nigerians to block avenues of leakage in the economy. According to him, “the expectation is too high and I have started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day.
“We would strive to rebuild the economy. It is unfortunate that we have the security challenges. Today, salaries are not being paid in spite of the revenue we earned from 1990 till date. For this to be corrected, please give the incoming government a chance.
“So, this time, under this system, to bounce back with the issue, especially with the backlog of salaries, which are of immediate concern to individuals and states, I think we should look for a better way to address the issue and think of how to persuade people to give us a chance to organise the economy immediately and get something to pay salaries.”
Meanwhile, United States (U.S.) President, Barack Obama, is said to be considering a high-powered delegation to Buhari’s May 29 presidential inauguration. Government sources hinted yesterday that Obama would send a strong delegation to the inauguration and is now considering who might lead the American representatives to the event.
Besides, at least two U.S. ivy universities, Harvard and Yale, have since held special review sessions, where scholars were invited from around the country and the world at large to give lectures and seminars on the outcome of the Nigerian elections.
Three names are already being mentioned in official U.S. and diplomatic circles, including Obama’s wife and American First Lady, Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State, John Kerry. From the Congress also, some senior members are said to be planning to attend the event, including the Chairman of House of Representatives Sub Committee on Africa, Chris Smith.
According to Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Ade Adefuye, “I have been told that an ‘unusually large’ American delegation will attend the presidential inauguration on May 29,” and that a very senior member of the U.S. Government is expected to lead the delegation, but no confirmation has been made as yet.
He said he has been in consultations with the U.S. State Department on the issue of the delegation, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan has already extended an invitation to the U.S. Government, which he noted, he is now doing a follow-up on.