President Muhammadu Buhari has said he will not go to jail at the end of his administration because he has integrity and he is honest.
He said he would have gone to jail after his previous appointments if not for his integrity and honesty.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday, the President spoke while receiving a delegation of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he had no regrets being a person of honesty and integrity.
“I am satisfied with what I am. I am happy I have kept myself and the people close to me from benefiting from government contracts,” the President said.
Buhari said he did not award contracts and did not care about who got them as far as they did a good job at a cost that was justifiable to the nation.
“I have been in many places including (Ministry of) Petroleum. I would have gone to jail if I had taken an oil well. For integrity and honesty, I have no regrets.
“By this, I have contributed to my social safety. I won’t go to jail,” the President boasted.
The President, who said he had been accused of many things, said his critics couldn’t accuse him of stealing.
“You cannot accuse me of stealing. I have appointed ministers and they are in charge. I appeal to their integrity.
“When they come here (Federal Executive Council Chambers), we ensure they follow the due process. If I owned an oil well, I would have gone to jail,” he stressed.
Buhari also responded to a number of issues raised by the delegation, including complaints that the Muslims had been marginalised in appointments to government institutions such as the military and the civil service.
On the violent conflicts in some parts of the country, Buhari said he was putting in his best.
He said following his dissatisfaction with the performance of the police in Zamfara State, he ordered a mass transfer of officers and men who had stayed three years and above in the troubled state.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Vice-President, Sheikh Hadiyyatullahi Abdulrashid, commended Buhari for accomplishing much of what he promised before his election.
Meanwhile, President Buhari on Monday noted that all the groups clamouring for the restructuring of the country had their personal agenda.
He wondered if the constitution would allow such agenda.
Buhari spoke when he received a delegation of Urhobo Traditional Rulers, the leadership of the Urhobo Progressive Union and members of the All Progressives Congress from Delta State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“You mentioned something which is topical these days: the call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
“Every group asking for restructuring has got their own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution,” the President told his guests.
The President-General of UPU, Moses Taiga, had in his address on behalf of the delegation told the President to ensure the restructuring of the country.
Taiga had also intimated Buhari that there were hunger and poverty in the land.
He had also called on the President to appoint an Urhobo person into his cabinet.
He said, “We cannot for the life of us claim to have garnered tangible benefits for our temperance and long-suffering especially when placed side by side what had been taken away from our lands.
“Grinding poverty is still a fact of life in nearly all our communities. Our youths are unemployed and frustrated but we rein them in regardless, in the hope that tomorrow might be a better day.”
Buhari reiterated his position that previous administrations did not fund critical infrastructures in the country despite the oil boom at the time.
He wondered what the nation’s elite were doing when harm was being done.
“The operation between 1999 and 2014, Nigeria was producing an average of 2.1 million barrel per day and the average cost was $100 per barrel. It even went up to $143.
“This means for the 16 years of previous administration, Nigeria was receiving 2.1 million x $100 x 16 years, seven days a week. And when we broke it down, in it came down to $37, $38 and then it oscillated between $40 and $50 for some time.
“When I went to the Central Bank with my cap in my hand, I was told there were no savings.
“When I looked at the infrastructure — the roads, rails, power — I asked where has the money gone? Where are the Nigerian elite that know this damage is being done to the resources of the country?” Buhari said for the umpteenth time.