President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that with the Ramadan fast over, he is now healthier and more stimulated to face the daunting challenges of steering the ship of state, especially as the 2019 election draws near.
President Buhari spoke when he received a delegation of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led by the Minister, Mohammed Bello, and other well-wishers during a homage visit on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitri celebration at his official residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President said he missed last year’s celebrations on account of his then health status, but expressed gratitude to God for the enablement to participate in the religious obligations this year despite apprehension and advice by well-wishers.
“I am very grateful to the Ministers and church leaders that came to say happy Eid-el-Fitri to those of us that have been fasting. A lot of people asked me not to fast on health ground. I can default; I refused because I know the value of fasting. I cannot miss it once I can do it.
“Last year I didn’t because I was on health vacation. But this year I have done it and I thank God because it has helped me to be much more healthier to give me the time that I need to attend to national issues.”
President Buhari who said he had through his tortuous journey into politics and as a military officer suffered in his efforts to serve the country, also called on Nigerians to jettison the politics of individualism and sectionalism so as to make the nation great again.
He said he was working hard for the general interest of the country adding that enough had been invested by the administration to ensure that Nigeria remained as one indivisible entity.
“I am very pleased that we are working very hard collectively as Nigerians and that God in his infinite mercy who knows what is in the heart and not by mouth, will continue to guide us so that we accommodate each other at all times. This country is blessed with human and material resources.”
President Buhari who expressed joy over the turnout by well-wishers to his residence, however expressed dismay that the nation’s resources had in the last 16 years been mismanaged by previous administrations.
According to him: “What we realised between 1999-2013, as I have always said, we have never realised it. It is on record that we were producing 2.2 million barrels per day on the average, at the cost of $100 per barrel.“It went up to $143 per barrel and then I think it stabilised between $80 and $90. Nigeria has never received so much money and we thank God that we have survived the crisis in no time.
“It is amazing that we are here because we tried four times, we ended up three times at the Supreme Court and it is no joke. I have suffered for this constituency just like I suffered in the Military. I walked from the northern border to the sea virtually on foot, because every culvert and bridges were blown up, so we had to walk and carry our luggage.
“I think we have invested so much in this country and we will continue to pray that we stay together and let us develop the necessary confidence, work together as a people, this country is great. Let us work together so that we can save a lot more and exploit more of the resources that were abandoned so many years ago.
“Please in your constituencies, emphasize what I said about 30 years ago, we don’t have another country except Nigeria. We may as well remain here and salvage it together; there is nothing else we can do. Even those that had gone out are now trying to come back because they are not wanted out there.
“I wish all the resources they had, they had deployed it here, it would have been much better. So thank you very much and please try to persuade your constituencies to work much harder away from individualism and sectionalism.”