President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the major motive behind decision to seek re-election in 2019 was to the desire of Nigerians who wanted the country to be rightly positioned having considered his performance so far.
He said he decided to declare his intention on Monday during the National Executive Committee meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress because of the anxiety among Nigerians.
He said, “I declared before leaving home because Nigerians were talking 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; politics should not be a distraction.
“The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting.”
Buhari recounted some successes of his administration with particular emphasis on agriculture.
“We have cut the importation of rice by about 90 per cent, saving billions of dollars in the process. Nigeria should be able to feed itself comfortably soon,” 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.”
On Leah Sharibu, the schoolgirl from Dapchi still being held by insurgents because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, the President said his government was handling her case quietly.
He said his administration was avoiding dealing with many fraudulent people who had been making “frivolous claims” on the matter.
“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; we won’t deal with them. That was how we got the Dapchi girls back, and the Chibok girls,” he added.
Welby said it was always a delight to see Buhari whom he said he had tremendous respect for.
“You have my best wishes on your recent decision. We are neutral as a church, but we will pray for you. Great statesmen are those who run for the good of their country,” the clergyman told the President.
The Archbishop presented Buhari with a copy of his recent book, ‘Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope.’
Buhari and Welby were joined by the Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, George Oguntade; and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon.