Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president-elect, has appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with his government because he is taking over the reins of governance “at the wrong time”.
Buhari accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of mismanaging the economy of the country, alleging that the revenue that the PDP has had at its disposal during its 16 years rule is higher than that which the country realised from 1914 at amalgamation till 1999 when PDP took charge.
He was speaking on Sunday when he played host to the northern elders’ forum led by Mataima Sule, an elder statesman. “You have to convince your constituencies that you have virtually arrived at the wrong time and that they have to temper their expectation. Try and persuade the people that it is not possible to change the state of affairs over night,” he said.
“See how efficiently the PDP managed Nigeria in the last 16 years and those 16 years, most of you know it better than myself; Nigeria earned revenue more than what it earned from 1914 to then. Now, we have invariably inherited all the problems, especially in the north-east.
“You know that we use to have Nigeria Airways, Nigeria shipping line, Nigeria Railways. Where are they now? Where is the infrastructure? Consider what we earned Between then and now and what we earned in-between and what is on ground. That is how efficiently how the PDP managed Nigeria in the last 16 years.
“Now, we have invariably inherited all the problems, especially in the north east. I am sure that you have heard or seen the children recovered from Sambisa forest. Only the children and women are remaining while all the able bodied have been gotten rid of somehow. Some have been taken to as far as Adamawa state to be resettled. A generation has been denied education and health care, infrastructure has gone.
“You can imagine what is happening in the high sea where up to 400,000 barrel of crude oil which we rely on is stolen everyday with the full cooperation of those who are supposed to protect it. The fuel price has gone down and 90 percent of foreign exchange we rely on come from that.”
Buhari reaffirmed his commitment towards ensuring that the situation gets better, assuring Nigerians that he would fulfill his campaign promises. The incoming president has never minced words in saying that the expectations from his government are high. Early last week, he told a visiting delegation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the defence house in Abuja that he had been explaining to Nigerians that Rome was not built in a day.
“Please give this incoming government a chance, give us a chance to stabilise security,” he had said. “The expectation is too high and I have started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day.”
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