Muhammadu Buhari, who will turn 73 in December, admitted on June 15, Monday, that age would limit his performance as Nigeria's president.
The politician made a confession in South Africa after the African Union Summit end, The Punch reports.
Buhari lamented that he he had not become country leader when he was younger.
"I wish I became head of state when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do."
However, he assured people that despite age, his administration would bring positive change.
Recall that before the presidential polls many blasted the All Progressives Congress candidate over contesting for the position at his elderly age. Some attacks were really aggressive containing that Buhari might die in office, like Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.
In the course of his Johannesburg address, the president reiterated his commitment to the ideas of the APC election campaign.
"Our government is determined to secure the country, manage the economy, create employment and fight corruption. Some articulate writers have said if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. This APC administration intends to kill corruption in Nigeria. We will do our best, I assure you."
Buhari reproached those accusing him of "locking them up" that he was also jailed.
"After being in the military for 25 years, and getting to the highest rank and becoming Head of State and under unusual circumstances, as Head of State, I went straight to detention for three-and-a-half years. So, those who accuse me of locking them up, I too have been locked up; so what?"
He advised Nigerians in South Africa to be good ambassadors of their home county and never give up on their dreams, The Cable adds.
Buhari also disclosed he had joined partisan politics to meet the needs of people.
"When I went home people knew that I have no money I thought they will leave me alone, but they didn’t they were coming to me asking me to do this and do that. And I found that the only way I could do it is by joining partisan politics. And maybe if I speak even if I’m not a member at any level, people will listen to me.
"But then I joined the opposition, I joined APP (All Peoples Party). I didn’t want any political office at first, if I wanted I would have joined PDP then and maybe I would have gotten to where I am much earlier. But then I wanted to go with the opposition. I moved from APP to ANPP to CPC, eventually to APC.
"I contested in 2003, spent 30 months in the courts and ended up in supreme court. I contested in 2007, spent about 20 months in the courts, ended up in supreme court. I contested in 2011 and spent about eight months in the courts, all ending up in Supreme Court. Why was I doing it? I know the reason I believed in it! I told you I believe in this system, that election must be free and fair.
"In all those cases from high court to supreme court, we sent people to the field, they found out why the elections were not fair, they came to the court and gave evidence but in the end, they will say oh well! There were some flaws in the elections but PDP has won. At last the PDP has lost!
"I have gone to this extent to tell you that when you make up your mind about anything positive, don’t be discouraged! Keep on trying!"
Speaking further, Buhari noted that people remember him by the times of his performance as the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund.
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"They (Nigerians) remember me more as chairman of the PTF than as a former head of state, than a governor or a minister of petroleum.
"In spite of the fact that it was during my time that I signed the contract for the Warri Refinery, Kaduna Refinery, more than 3,500 pipelines and more than 20 depots.
"We got the tankers off the roads; we saved lives; we saved fuel and we saved the roads.
"But from 1999 till date, the PDP messed them up. That is why Nigerians decided to vote me."
Finally, Buhari expressed confidence that the outcome of the presidential election proved that people knew what they wanted.
Mixed reactions trailed Buhari's address to Nigerians in South Africa. Especially it concerned the statement that although he locked people up, he was locked up, too.
Abubakar Hamza: "Gej was in government for 10yrs,had he not locked people up?What did you said?"
Salihu Aliyu: "Tanx a lot Baba Buhari. I beg lock any of dem even if my own father wll be among lock up. Yes, accorden 2 som one said a thief is always a thief..."
Fidelis Anivungu: "Lockin people up cannot solve d problems dis country, Buhari shud go ahead start work n leave lockin 2 d police."