The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), has said that “God has helped” his regime to “cleanse up Boko Haram” in the northeast.
The president called the threat of terrorism the most critical security challenge inherited by his regime, but welcomed the return of normality to the affected northeastern states.
Buhari therefore stated that he had fulfilled the commitment he made to the Nigerians in his May 29, 2015 inaugural speech to bravely confront Boko Haram terrorists head-on and stabilize the country.
This is how he said that no one could blackmail him for unexplained wealth and illicit enrichment while in office, stating that he had “not one square inch outside of Nigeria.”
These are contained in a statement signed by the Special Advisor to the President on Media and Advertising, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari says no one can blackmail him for unexplained wealth and illicit enrichment while in office, saying ‘I don’t have a square inch outside of Nigeria.’
“Speaking at a state banquet Monday night hosted in his honor in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, the president reaffirmed his vow to serve God and Nigeria until his last day in office and beyond.
“He advised Nigerians to remain patriotic, saying ‘as I said more than 30 years ago, we have no other country but Nigeria, we must all stay here and save it together.’
“Noting that the most critical security challenge inherited by the administration nearly eight years ago was the potent and pervasive threat of terrorism, the President welcomed the return of normality to affected states in north-eastern Nigeria.
“He reported that the threat was particularly widespread in the geopolitical zone of the northeast, with Yobe state being one of the most affected by terrorists.
“He therefore stated that he has fulfilled the commitment made to the Nigerians in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015 to bravely and head-on to the Boko Haram terrorists and stabilize the country.
“’In the northeast, God has helped us clean up Boko Haram, the economy has recovered, and some people ask me about the achievements of my pledge to fight corruption.
“’Well, under this system fighting corruption is not easy. When I was in the military, as Head of State, I locked up some people because the Constitution says you have to declare your assets and people who couldn’t explain the differences in their assets, I locked them up.
“’In the end, I too was locked up. So if you want to serve this country, you have to be prepared for the worst. But one thing I’m thankful to God for is that no one can blackmail me. I don’t have a square inch outside of Nigeria and I intend to stay in Nigeria when I retire from civil service.’
Reflecting on his path to the presidency and re-election, the President said:
“’Between 2003 and 2019, I visited every area of local government in this country. In 2019 when I ran for re-election I visited every state and the number of people who came to see who this Buhari is and was is more than anyone can afford or force.
“’So, I thank God that Nigerians understood me and I promised that I will serve God and Nigerians.’
“President Buhari praised Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni for taking advantage of the return of peace and security in the state to implement people-oriented projects.
Describing the governor as highly competent and courageous, the president said he was lucky to have him in the saddle as a political leader in the state, supporting federal efforts to decimate the Boko Haram terror group.
“The president also acknowledged the cooperation of Nigeria’s neighbors in the fight against the insurgency, recalling that his first visit outside the country in 2015 was to Niger and Chad, to rally support in the fight against the wrong sect.
“President Buhari thanked the Governor and the people of Yobe State, including Senate President Ahmed Lawan, for their warm reception during the state visit.
“In his remarks, Governor Buni welcomed the president’s inauguration of flagship projects in the state, including the Yobe International Cargo Airport, the ultra-modern Damaturu market, the Maternal and Child Health Complex at the Yobe Teaching Hospital Yobe State University, the 2600 housing estate in Potiskum, and the Damaturu Mega School in new Bra-Bra.
“He appealed to the President to approve the acquisition of the Yobe State International Cargo Airport by the federal government and the reimbursement of 38 billion naira spent by the state government on the project.
“Likewise, he requested the inauguration of the State University Teaching Hospital, including the Maternal and Child Health Complex.
“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 High School; and the Police Tertiary Hospital during the State Visit.
“The IGP assured the President and Nigerians that the Nigerian Police are fully prepared for the upcoming 2023 General Election and would remain apolitical in accordance with the Presidential directive.
“He revealed that the newly knocked out agents are being dispatched to field operations in their local government areas in accordance with the directives of Mr. President and ahead of their deployment for the general election.
“’In addition to this, we have exposed our staff to specialized training in electoral security management, developed the Code of Conduct Manual to guide the Police and other national security agencies that will participate in the exercise,’ he said.
“He added that the Force also perfected the logistics and labor mobilization framework, and fine-tuned the Electoral Security Operational Action Plan in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community and other Sister Security Agencies.
“The IGP thanked the president for the annual recruitment of ten thousand police officers over a five-year period, adding that the presidential consideration has significantly narrowed the manpower gap in the Force and greatly strengthened its ability to effectively monitor the electoral process”.