President Muhammadu Buhari has again reiterated the commitment of his administration to address the nation’s security challenges before he leaves office in 2023.
The president gave the assurance during an interview session televised by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Wednesday.
President Buhari expressed optimism that the security challenges facing the country could be resolved in some months.
According to him, the security forces are working hard to address all the nation’s security problems, adding that more equipment and ammunition are being procured by the government to make the battle against criminals much easier across the country.
He said: ”Yes, the government is capable and is going to do it because members of the security, the armed forces and others, their own security depends on one Nigeria.
”So, no matter, when people are selfish, it is their self first. So, even for their own selves, they better stabilize Nigeria and I believe they will do it.
”I know we’re short on resources. For example, dealing with the militants, if people bother to reflect on how we found the northeast and south-south and how much progress we have made and acquiring some helicopters, aircraft, their maintenance, their ammunition, armoured cars, you know to counter effectively, the bandits.
”They cost money and they cost time for training and adaptation,” he said.
On whether age had affected his capacity as President, he said indeed the pressure of office had been tremendous, but noted, however, that he could not complain because he asked to be elected into the office.
According to him, many of his colleagues are now enjoying their retirement, saying that he hopes to emulate them in the next 17 months when his tenure ends.
“Yes, I think COVID-19 has come to my rescue in the sense that the number of people that you need to see, can’t see you so that is losing no time and about my age, yes, I see my colleagues, they are now resting.
”I assure you that I’m looking forward to the next 17 months when I too would have to be less busy.
“Age is telling on me, working now for 6,7,8 hours a day flight in the office is no joke. Questions of executive council memos from as many states as possible to be considered virtually every week.
”So, really it is a lot of hard work, but I asked for it and I cannot complain,” he said.
The president affirmed that he had done his best for Nigeria and he would continue to do so for the general progress of the nation.
He said: ”Yes, because, look, as you know I have been a governor. I have been a minister and I’m in my second term as President. So, I have gone through the system and really, what else can I do with this country?
“I have given my best and I hope after I leave Nigerians will reflect and at least not show appreciation. I’m not expecting any appreciation.
”But what I’m expecting is for Nigerians to say yes, this man has done his best. This is the most I’m expecting from Nigerians. But it’s no joke. I’m telling you.
“Look at the problem we’re having in the southeast now. How many police stations were taken over, weapons missing.
”We closed the border with Benin, we closed the border with Niger. But we had to accept the reality that the weapons are coming from our own armories, police stations have been attacked and so on.
”So, the main problem is, I hope, I will leave a more secure Nigeria than what it is now,” he said.
Also responding to a question on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Buhari dismissed the assertion that there were kingmakers in the seat of power.
He, however, warned against disagreement among leaders of the party, saying such disagreement could be counterproductive.
The president said: ”My position is simple, I think I succeeded in trying to get my position understood in the sense that I said, we start from bottom upwards; from polling units towards, to local governments, to states and then to Abuja.
”So, the party, because I’m concerned about my party, the party, in all constituencies they will know their positions, coming up. Therefore, when they come to Abuja, they are likely to work together.
“There is no kingmaker from Abuja, no constituency is being dictated to. All constituencies are supposed to produce their leadership in our party.
”What other parties are doing is their own business, but we want to make sure that our party members understand that they are respected.
”It is from polling unit, toward to local government, to state and after Abuja. So those who want to the elected at any level, let them work for it.
”Nobody is going to appoint anybody,” he added.