- President Buhari said he decided to make known his second term ambition because Nigerians were talking too much about whether he would run or not
- He said he is re-contesting because majority of Nigerians appreciate what his administration is doing
- Buhari also spoke about issues challenging the country such as Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen/farmers clashes and the Dapchi girl in captivity
President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken about his announcement on Monday, April 9, to seek presidential re-election, saying it was to clear the air as a lot of people had been speculating whether he would run or not.
This was contained in a statement by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity on Wednesday, April 11.
The president said he wanted to get the declaration away with so that his administration could focus on more important things like agriculture and security.
On the war against insurgency particularly the fact that Boko Haram terrorists were still holding on to Leah Sharibu, the school girl from Dapchi, President Buhari said his administration was working hard for her return.
Read the statement below:
President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he declared his intentions to run for another term in office on Monday, April 9, 2018, during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby in London Wednesday, President Buhari said:
"I declared before leaving home because Nigerians were talking too much about whether I would run or not. So, I felt I should break the ice. We have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and many others. We needed to concentrate on them, and politics should not be a distraction. The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting."
The President recounted some successes of the administration to his guest, with whom he has built a deep friendship in recent times, and was quite particular about strides in agriculture.
"We have cut the importation of rice by about 90%, saving billions of dollars in the process. People who rushed into petrol money have now gone back to agriculture. Even professionals have gone back to the land. Nigeria should be able to feed itself comfortably soon. I am so pleased," the President said.
On the war against insurgency, he stressed the need for continuous education of the people, "so that they can be free from religious manipulation," adding that no true religion advocates the hurting or killing of the innocent.
Responding to his guest's comment on the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of Nigeria, the president submitted:
"The problem is even older than us. It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region. These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram. Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions."
President Buhari lamented that "irresponsible politics" has been brought into the farmers/herders’ crisis, but assured that enduring solutions would be found, and justice done to all concerned.
On Leah Sharibu, the schoolgirl from Dapchi still being held by insurgents, reportedly because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, the President said:
"We are managing the matter quietly. Making noise would not help. We are collecting as much intelligence as possible, working with the Red Cross and other international organizations. There are too many fraudulent people around, who claim they can do this and that. We won't deal with them. That was how we got the Dapchi girls back, and the Chibok girls."
Archbishop Welby said it was always a delight to see President Buhari, "whom I have tremendous respect for," adding: "You have my best wishes on your recent decision. I read your declaration speech. We are neutral as a church, but we will pray for you. Great statesmen are those who run for the good of their country. We will be praying for you."
The Archbishop presented President Buhari with a copy of his recent book, 'Reimagining Britain. Foundations for Hope.'
Legit.ng had reported that the archbishop of canterbury, Justin Welby and Nigeria’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), George Adesola Oguntade, have paid President Muhammadu Buhari a visit at the Abuja House in London.
This is not the first time Justin Welby would be paying the president a visit at the Abuja House in London.
EXCLUSIVE: Be patient with President Buhari, Femi Adesina tells Nigerians on Legit.ng TV