I have given my best to Nigeria, says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, stated that he has given his best for the country while adding that he is not expecting any appreciation from Nigerians.
The president, who spoke yesterday in an exclusive interview by NTA, monitored by The Guardian, added that he expects citizens to acknowledge the same after he leaves office.
“What I am expecting is for Nigerians to say this man has done his best,” he said adding that he plans to take a well-deserved rest after leaving office in about 17 months.
“What else can I do for this country, I have given my best, I hope after I leave, Nigerians will reflect. I am not expecting any appreciation but what I am expecting is for Nigerians to say yes, this man has done his best.”
He told citizens how much he looks forward to his exit from office, saying age is telling on him from working long hours every day.
According to him, many of his colleagues were now enjoying their retirement, noting that he hopes to emulate them when his tenure ends in 2023.
On his 79th birthday recently, the President said: “I think COVID-19 has come to my rescue in the sense that the number of people that need to see you, can’t see you so that is losing no time.
“And about my age, yes, I see my colleagues, they are now resting and I assure you that I’m looking forward to the next 17 months when I too would be less busy.
“Age is telling on me, working now for six to eight hours a day is no joke. Questions of executive council memos from as many states as possible to be considered every week. So, really it is a lot of hard work, but I asked for it and I cannot complain.”
The President also said no person accused of corruption can go scot-free even if they join his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Many Nigerians believe that opposition politicians accused of corruption or on trial for corruption join the APC to avoid being punished.
Some politicians accused of corruption who have joined the ruling party include ex-Aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Stella Oduah. The President, however, said joining the APC does not absolve anyone accused of corruption from the crime.
President Buhari added that corruption is a continuous problem of developing countries including Nigeria, but urged the people to live within their means saying that the more people want to live outside their means, the more corruption persists.
Speaking on his reasons for not assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, he said it was because he wanted the people to be given the freedom of choice.
According to him, the direct, indirect and consensus channels must be tabled before the people without any form of harassment or intimidation by ‘influential’ people.
“People should be given a choice. There are three ways – direct, indirect and consensus. The important thing is to show Nigerians that wherever they are, we respect them, that they are the ones that decide what to do, who to vote for, that we do not allow anybody to raise an army of thugs and intimidate people.
This is our objective, and we hope that it is respected, that we don’t allow anybody no matter how influential to intimidate. Those who want power must work for it.”
He, however, urged members of the APC to put the party in order ahead of its convention to hinder the opposition from taking over the government.
“If the party does not agree, the opposition will naturally take over.”