Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed hope that history will be kind to his administration going by what he met on ground upon assumption of office on May 29, 2015 in area of security and economy, and the difference that has been made since then.
The President, who spoke Thursday in Katsina after inaugurating some state projects stressed that security and economy are the core essence of government, saying citizens do not care how they are realized.
He said: “But I can’t complain because I asked for it. I have done my best, and I hope history will be kind to me.”
President Buhari criticized the Nigerian elite for being self-centred rather than being concerned about the welfare of the people.
He lamented what he called the selfish attitude of many Nigerians, counseling that if they think more of the people, things will be much better for governments in the country.
The President regretted the amount of resources that went to waste instead of being used for the provision of infrastructure under previous administrations, during which time, he recalled a barrel of crude oil sold consistently for $100.
While drawing comparison between 1999/2015 and 2015/2023, Buhari stated: “Our elites did not put their heads together in the years past in order to move the country forward. They were very selfish.
“I insist that they should think of the country more than themselves. By doing so, the can join forces for the good of the country.”
President Buhari said former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, had been criticized for his leadership style, while many ignored the contributions of the Petroleum Trust Fund, which he chaired under the former Head of State.
The President noted that the PTF implemented many developmental projects, particularly in health, education and infrastructure, with some of the projects still evident in many parts of the country.
President Buhari explained that the Kano-Katsina-Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line was designed to enhance neighborliness and ease economic activity between Nigeria and Niger, and not only for cultural affiliation.
“If you want to enjoy peace and harmony, you must be very friendly with your neighbour. That is why when I came into office, I started by visiting all our neighbours,’’ he added.
The President said the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, deserved commendation for the youthful energy, intellectual capacity and visionary leadership he deployed in improving the security situation in the North East.
President Buhari extoled Zulum for being daring by neglecting threats to his life, and visiting various parts of the state to encourage indigenes.
“We were lucky to have a young, vibrant and intellectual governor like Prof. Zulum. He was all over the place, working. Who said Boko (Book) is Haram (forbidden)?’’ the President stated.
He urged Nigerians to be more focused on getting education that equips them for a dynamic and digital world, instead of studying to get a job only.
President Buhari appreciated the sacrifices and dedication of the state government in constructions, upgrading facilities and supply of medication and working tools.
“Let me start by expressing my thanks to Allah (SWT) for granting us the privilege of life to be here today in Katsina to commission projects during my two-day official visit.
“Governance or leadership as I have emphasised on many occasions, is an enormous responsibility embodying trust and requiring sacrifice so that the community of people that entrusted a leader with that burden can in both short and long terms, stand to benefit from the uprightness of the leadership.
“In November, 2022, I received a letter from the Governor of Katsina State, inviting me to pay a State Visit to commission projects executed by his Administration. I was confident in giving my consent to the request.
“Firstly, I noticed that the Governor’s letter had already earmarked many projects that are beyond commissioning for a State Visit spanning only two days; and;
“Secondly, I was impressed by the transparency implied by the manner that each of the projects was associated with its cost of execution,” he said.
The President noted that he had already learnt about the Governor’s numerous activities carried out in the state in the form of policies, programmes and projects.
“I am under the impression that the Governor is using this occasion to announce his silent achievements, many of which were unknown till today.
“Earlier today, it was my pleasure to commission Kofar Kaura Underpass, Kofar Kaura Water Works, Revenue House, Meteorological Institute and Darma Rice Mills as well as upgraded Katsina General Hospital.
“I am happy with the infrastructural development efforts in Katsina State, particularly when one compares the recorded achievements with the position of the state as a rural state with a short history of a little over three decades of existence,” he added.
While thanking Governor Masari for the visionary leadership and commitment to improving livelihoods and infrastructure, the President said he would continue to support the government.
“I congratulate the Katsina State Government for achieving these milestones and I wholeheartedly identify with the important strides Governor Masari has recorded,” he noted.
Earlier in his remark, the Governor Masari thanked the President for honoring the invitation to inaugurate some projects in the state.
The Governor, who presented a full report on his achievements in office over seven years, noted that enrolment in schools moved from over one million to more than two million annually, following interventions by the state government.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja