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Corruption: Eight years in office, I have no ‘square inch’ outside Nigeria — Buhari



…Says willing to live in Country after office

…Fighting corruption not easy like military era, President admits

…Prepare for the worst if you want to serve Nigeria, he says

…Urges migrants to reconsider staying back to build the nation together

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that against all doubt, he could stand to beat his chest, having not looted the treasury as democratic elected President of the Country. In about eight years in office, he said, he has gotten no “square  inch” to himself outside the Country.

“I do not have a square inch outside Nigeria, the country I have been serving for about eight years of democracy and good governance,”  Buhari said in Damaturu, the Yobe State Capital, at a dinner organised in his honour, after inaugurating several completed projects in the health, security, education, transport and housing sectors of the economy.

Other projects commissioned by the President included the Damaturu Modern Market (DMM) with over 250 shops; the Maternal and Child Healthcare Complex at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital; Police administrative office, hospital and school and the Bra-bra over 2,350 housing units across the state.

He admitted that though the administration has fought corruption, yet the fight was not easy under the prevailing democratic system.

“The economy has picked up and some people are asking me about the achievements of my promise to fight corruption.

“Well, under this system fighting corruption is not easy.

“When I was in the military, as the Head of State, I locked up some people because the Constitution says you must declare your assets and people who couldn’t explain the differences in their assets, I locked them up.

“In the end, I was also locked up. So, if you want to serve this country you must be prepared for the worst.”

He said that he intends to stay in the country when he retires from public office.

Buhari urging citizens to remain patriotic, that they have no other country than Nigeria, said, “We must all stay here and salvage it together.”

He said that the most critical security challenge inherited by the administration about eight years ago, was the potent and pervasive threats of terrorism, banditry and kidnappings across the country.

President Buhari expressed delight that normalcy has returned to the insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

He lamented the threat and losses, particularly the ones that were pervasive across the North East region, but said “In the North East, God has helped us to clear Boko Haram terrorists.”

According to him, Yobe state is the most hit by the terrorists operating in Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad region.

He, therefore, declared that he has fulfilled the commitment made to Nigerians in his May 29, 2015 inaugural address to “frontally and courageously tackle Boko Haram terrorists and stabilise the country.”

On his journey to the Presidency, he said, “Between 2003 and 2019, I visited all the local government areas in this country.

“In 2019 when I attempted a re-election, I visited every State and the number of people that came out to see who this Buhari is were more than what anybody can pay or force.

“So, I thank God that Nigerians understood me and I made a promise that I will serve God and Nigerians.”

President Buhari commended Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State for taking advantage of the return of peace and security in the State to execute people-oriented projects.

Buhari, therefore, commended Buni for completing the capital projects that have possibilities to improve the living conditions of the people.

“They will take advantage of the return of peace and security in the state by executing people-oriented projects,” he said.

The President described the Governor “as a very competent and courageous leader in the state.”

“I am lucky to have him in the saddle as the political leader in Yobe,” he said.

He added that the Governor also supported the Federal Government, the Armed Forces, Police and other security agencies to decimate Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the Northeast.

The President also acknowledged the cooperation of Nigeria’s neighbours in the fight against terrorism.

He recalled that his first visit outside the country in 2015 was to Niger and Chad, to garner support on tackling the misguided terror groups

President Buhari thanked the Governor and people of Yobe State, including Senate President Ahmed Lawan, for their warm reception during the State visit.

In his remarks, Governor Buni expressed delight at the President’s inauguration of landmark projects in the state, including the Yobe International Cargo Airport, Damaturu ultra-modern market, Maternal and Child Health Complex at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, the 2600 Housing Estate in Potiskum and the Damaturu Mega School at new Bra-Bra.

He appealed to the President to approve the takeover of the Yobe State International Cargo airport by the Federal Government and the refund of N38 billion expended by the State government on the project.

Equally, he requested the takeover of the State University Teaching Hospital, including the Maternity and Child Health Complex.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, thanked the President for inaugurating a purpose-built, ultra-modern, and fully furnished State Command Headquarters; Police Secondary School; and Tertiary Police Hospital during the State Visit.

The IGP thanked the President for the annual recruitment of 10,000 police Constables over a five-year period, adding that the Presidential consideration has significantly bridged the manpower gap in the Force and broadly strengthened their capacity to effectively police the electoral process.

The IGP assured the President and Nigerians that the Nigeria Police are fully prepared for the upcoming 2023 General Elections and would remain apolitical in compliance with the presidential directive.

He disclosed that newly passed out Constables are being posted on field operations to their Local Government Areas in line with Mr. President’s directives and ahead of their deployment for the General Elections.

“In furtherance to this, we have exposed our personnel to specialised election security management trainings, developed Code of Conduct Handbook to guide the Police and other national security agencies that will be involved in the exercise,” he said.

He added that the Force has also perfected the logistics and manpower mobilisation framework, and fine-tuned the Election Security Operational Action Plan in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Military, Intelligence Community, and other Sister Security Agencies.

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