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“I Am Eager To Go” – Buhari Tells US Ambassador, Says 2023 Polls Evidence of Nigerian Voters’ Vibrancy, Maturity

Barely few weeks to hand over the reigns of power to an incoming administration on May 29th, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari has said he was eager to go.

The President, said once he hands over power he would quickly embrace his love for farming and tending to over 300 cattles back home in Daura, Katsina state where he hails from.

Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement issued Tuesday, said the President made the remarks while speaking at a farewell meeting with the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard at the State House in Abuja.

The remarks ensued when Ambassador Leonard, posed a question to Buhari, a development that prompted the President to respond saying, “I plan to be a “big landlord” back at home, working my farms and tending to more than 300 animals. “I am eager to go”.

Commenting on the 2023 general elections and his perspective on the exercise, Buhari said given the chance of a free and fair election including non-interference as was witnessed on February 25th and March 18th elections, Nigerians may have proved to be capable in choosing who leads them without anyone telling them what to do.

He said he was quite impressed with the passion towards democracy exhibited by Nigerians which reflected in the choices they made in the Presidential, National Assembly and the subsequent Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

According to the outgoing President, Nigeria’s democracy has truly matured.

Reflecting further about the polls, he said, “the people are realizing their power. Given the chance of a free and fair vote, nobody can tell them what to do.

“But I am unhappy that some candidates lost in the election. I am inspired by the fact that voters were able to make their own decision, to decide who won and who lost. With the currency change, there was no money to spread around but even then, I told voters to take the money and vote according to their consciences.”

The President equally told the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard that he was completely pleased with his own role in the election process staying above board, without meddlesomeness or any form of interference.

He chronicled a number of challenges faced by Nigeria as the country strives to unite our diverse communities and achieve national development and expressed his appreciation of the way the United States is able to hold together as a nation.

President Buhari expressed the hope that Nigeria will continue to make progress in building a nation out of our different and competitive communities. He added that he enjoyed working with the Ambassador and wished that she had more time to serve here.

He lauded the outgoing Ambassador for the enormous achievements recorded in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half years she had been here.

The American Ambassador said she was impressed with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations in these three-and –half years, specifically citing the recent institution of a five-year visa regime between the two countries; active collaboration in security and the supply of military hardware including war planes and the soon-to-come fighter helicopters; and also cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and Covid response.

She assured that the US will continue to assist in the strengthening of Nigeria’s health sector.

Ambassador Leonard expressed her gratitude and that of the US government in the continuing role of the President in ensuring regional security and strengthening of democracy as a system of government, citing his strong response against the recent surge of coups-d’état in West Africa as worthy of commendation.

She expressed hope that even as he is preparing to leave, there are still a few more things the President could do, among which she mentioned, the urgent need to remove fuel subsidy.



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