By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, said his next four years in office will be tough, as he would be expected to justify the reasons for which he was re-elected by Nigerians.
According to the President, Nigerians would be expecting to see results concerning some of the campaign promises some of which bothered on securing the country, revamping the economy and taming corruption.
“My last lap of four years, I think it is going to be tough because people are being forgetful. That was why wherever I went, I reminded them of the campaign promise of our party, particularly security, as I kept on saying that you have to secure the country well and manage institutions. If you do not secure the country, you cannot achieve anything no matter how many programmes you put in place,” he stated.
On the economic front, the President said something had to be done in addressing the indices of unemployment, especially when 60percent of the population had nothing to do.
Buhari made these remarks when members of the Federal Executive Council, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, paid him a congratulatory visit at the State House, Abuja.
President Buhari was re-elected for a second term, having polled 15,191,847 million votes, winning 19 states to defeat 72 other candidates including the Presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, who polled 11,255,978 million votes.
The President also revealed that he decided to tour the entire country during his campaign programmes to prove to the opposition that he was physically fit to govern the country for another term.
He said, “First, I am pleased that members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) are collectively meeting here today where we play our weekly role to congratulate me. I think if I have lost the election, I don’t know how many of them will be here.
“Secondly, during the campaigns, I tried to visit the 36 states and Abuja, firstly, to prove to the other side that I’m fit. I tried to cover two states per day and secondly, not to make anybody feel that any state had been left out.
“So, I thank God that He gave me the strength and health to see through my plan and I think it is appreciated.
“Secondly, on the economy, unemployment is a problem of this country as a whole. More than 60 per cent of the youths, they need to be kept busy. I realised that God heard our prayers. It had been two good rainy seasons and we had the foresight to get the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Central Bank to try and give soft loans to farmers so that everybody that is educated and looking for white collar jobs and cannot get it, can go back to the land. We are lucky the rainy season had been good”.
He acknowledged the roles played by Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa and Ebonyi state governments in the first four year term, which he noted contributed to food sufficiency, especially rice production.
According to him, prospects of early rainy season in the country may prove to be a blessing in the next planting season.
“I think we are also lucky that through the governors in some states like Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, in particular, we don’t import rice but we have savings from rice in terms of foreign exchange which we put in the budget and use for infrastructure.
“That is a very good thing because the oil sector is becoming very difficult to predict. It is becoming unpredictable and depending on it makes us materially insecure but thank goodness, agriculture has come to save it and people are appreciating it”.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said the votes garnered by Buhari which enabled him to win the election was a referendum on his honesty, integrity and uprightness.
The SGF spoke glowingly of the President, saying the change he promised four (4) years ago to put the Nigerian economy on a sustainable development path; restore security of lives and property; and to fight corruption has laid the firm foundation for growth. Your commitment, dedication and purposeful leadership has indeed become the springboard that has taken us to the next level.