President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night, May 27, addressed Nigerians in a special interview ahead of the his inauguration on Wednesday, May 29.
The special interview was aired on NTA network service at 10pm.
In this piece, the key issues the president addressed as he prepares to officially begin his second term on May 29 is highlighted.
1. The fight against corruption
President Buhari’s administration’s goal rests on three pillars: fight against corruption, resuscitation of the economy and improved security. Thus, he spoke about how his administration has fared on the anti-corruption campaign in the last four years.
“We recovered a number of fixed assets. Under this system, you cannot be in a hurry,” President Buhari said.
He said the government has to go through due process before prosecution, lamenting that prosecution is taking too long.
2. On insecurity
Addressing the issue of insecurity, President Buhari said the community leadership and the police have failed the country. On the issue of security, President Buhari says the community leadership and the police have failed the country. He, however, gave assurance that he would continue to do his best to fight insecurity.
3. How Nigerians can help with security
Further speaking on security, President Buhari said he will try to make the police more efficient to achieve absolute community security. The president also called on Nigerians to expose criminals in their neighborhood, so the country can easily attract foreign investors.
4. The Boko Haram menace
On the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists, the president scored his administration high. “We have achieved success against Boko Haram,” he noted.
5. How to improve on the security in his second term
President Buhari also talked about what he will do differently to address the insecurity issues.
“I will persuade the police and the judiciary to be hard on criminals,” he said.
6. The 2019 presidential election
President Buhari also talked about his victory at the just concluded 2019 presidential election where he defeated Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party with a margin of about four million votes.
I was confident of winning the 2019 presidential election because Nigerians understand me, he said.
7. The National Assembly
The Buhari-led federal government for the past four years has a strained relationship with the legislature. The animosity got to a height in the buildup to the 2019 elections when the principal leaders of the National Assembly, Senate president Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara abandoned the ruling APC for the lead opposition party, PDP.
The president specifically lamented the delayed passage of the 2018 budget which he blamed on Saraki and Dogara.
“I asked Saraki and Dogara, how do they feel holding the budget to ransom, for seven months. It’s not me they’re hurting, it’s the entire country. In terms of patriotism I rated them very low,” Buhari said.
8. The 2019 Umrah
On the invitation of the of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, ruler of Saudi Arabia and custodian of the two holy mosques, President Buhari visited the country to perform the Umrah.
During his stay in Saudi, a video of the president surfaced where he was seen running as part of the Umrah rites.
The video went viral as his supporters used it to buttress their claim that the president is healthy enough to rule Nigeria for the second term, against opposition’s claims that he is not fit.
Reacting to a question regarding the video, he was only fulfilling the Umrah rites.
9. The political journey
President Buhari also reminisced on his political journey while appreciating Nigerians for their show of love and respect.
“For someone who has been in the field for 20 years, I appreciate Nigerians for showing love and respect for me,” he said.
After ruling Nigeria as a military head of state in the 80s, President Buhari came back as a “reformed democrat” and sought to be president in 2003, 2007, and 2011. He eventually won in 2015, his fourth attempt.
10. “Baba go slow”
President Buhari has been repeatedly accused of giving slow, delayed reactions to national issues. He was subsequently tagged “Baba go slow”.
Speaking on “Baba go slow” label by Nigerians, Buhari hinted that his second term may witness some difference.
“Those that call me ‘Baba go slow’ will know whether I am slow,” he said.
11. On his Cabinet
President Buhari also spoke about his ministers. Addressing cases of alleged corruption against some of his ministers, the president said: “Anyone who has not gotten any evidence on any minister will have to trust me.”
Regarding the new cabinet to be selected for the second term, the president said he has not discussed his new cabinet with anybody.
Meanwhile, former governor of Abia state and senator-elect for Abia North senatorial district has said President Buhari’s second term would be better, calling on Nigerians to sustain their support for the president.
Kalu, who made the call in a statement on Tuesday, May 28, by his special adviser, Kunle Oyewunmi, said Buhari’s second term would be used to consolidate on the achievements of the first term.
According to the chieftain of the APC the future of Nigeria is bright under the current administration.