I Did My Best For Nigeria, Buhari Insists

The immediate past President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has maintained that he did his best in the eight years that he spent in Aso Rock governing Africa’s most populous country, but pointed out that he wasn’t quite sure he achieved the expected results.

In his first interview since resigning from office almost six months ago, the former president claimed he supported the divisive naira redesign strategy towards the conclusion of his presidency to uphold his personal integrity and demonstrate to Nigerians that hard work paid off.

Speaking to the government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) last night, Buhari claimed that Nigerians were a challenging group of people to lead. He insisted that although most of them knew the proper thing to do, they would typically refuse to follow it because they believed they knew more than the person in charge.

Questioned on the integrity of many of the people surrounding him during his eight -year government, the former president stated that “ it is their problem “, querying what the persons who criticised him fiercely had done at their individual levels to fight corruption.

The ex-president , when asked if he agreed that there was a cabal that hijacked his government, he said “it must have been”, but said that he wasn’t sure anybody flouted the rules and was allowed to “walk away”.

Read Also: Buhari’s Govt Failed On Security – Defence Minister

Buhari said he allowed people to do their jobs when he assigned tasks, stressing that if he was given the same chance he wouldn’t do anything differently under Nigeria’s current system.

The former president who appeared to veer off point several times during the session, explained that he tried to be as accountable as possible during his administration.

Buhari said he was still being ‘harassed’ by people who throng his home on a daily basis, noting that if the border with a nearby country was not closed, he would have run out of Nigeria by now. He added, however, that he was glad he now wakes up anytime he likes. The former president said he doesn’t miss anything after leaving government.

“God gave me the opportunity to serve my country, but I did my best. But whether my best was good enough, I leave for people to judge, “ he stressed.

Although the ex-Nigerian leader stated “not quite” when he was asked whether he achieved what he set out to achieve after trying to be president four times, he highlighted the insecurity in Borno state and the North-east when he took over, saying that Boko Haram had been largely degraded at the time he was leaving government.

“Nigerians are extremely difficult. People know their rights. They think they should be there, not you. So, they monitor virtually your every step. And you have to struggle day and night to ensure that you are competent enough,“ he added.

The former president also said he was too pre-occupied with local matters to be bothered with foreign issues as president. He said his biggest challenge was securing the country.

Buhari said he did not try to compete with Nigeria’s wealthy class by acquiring land, houses and cars during his time as Nigeria’s leader, explaining that it was the reason he was “living in peace” after exiting government.

He argued that some Nigerians attempted to set a trap for him by trying to ambush him with certain opportunities, but that he avoided the trap because he knew that once they knew he had been compromised, they would take advantage of the situation to milk the country. He added that they would rather become his boss.

He stated that God helped introduce technology in 2015 which enabled him win the poll because God had seen the gruelling pains he experienced after each loss during the times he contested for the presidency.

“Instead of people expressing sympathy, people laughed at me because I didn’t have money, because I couldn’t buy influence in any form, either from influential people or others. And I said ‘God dey’. And he sent the Permanent Voter Card (PVC). Meaning you now have only one vote,“ he stated.

Buhari stressed that he broke down publicly in 2011 after he lost the election because of his patriotism.

Africa Today News, New York

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