From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has told South East elders that he would want to be remembered as the president who stabilised Nigeria in the area of security, economic prosperity and triumph over corruption.
He stated this during a town hall meeting in Owerri with South East leaders.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari told the Igbo elders that with less than two years left in his eight-year tenure, security still remained a major priority for his administration.
“If there is no security, there is nothing anyone can do no matter how much you try or the initiative you have. Security is number one priority and then the economy. When people feel secure they will mind their own business,” he said.
The president told South-East leaders that while fighting corruption had become sophisticated and difficult, he would continue to strive to leave a lasting legacy of integrity and accountability in the system.
“Nobody can accuse me of having companies or mansions anywhere in the country and I thank God that I try to keep myself as clean as possible, so that I cannot be taken hostage. I will do my best to ensure that Nigerians that try hard, succeed in their efforts.”
On the 2023 elections, he reaffirmed his commitment to free, fair and credible polls, urging leaders to honestly educate their constituencies on the need to hold their elected representatives accountable.
Acknowledging the resourcefulness and enterprising spirit of the Igbo, the President said: “The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbo being in-charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria. The evidence is there for everyone to see that the Igbo are in charge of Nigeria’s economy.”
Noting that no country can make any meaningful progress without the development of infrastructure, the President expressed regret that successive governments at the federal level contributed to the decay of critical infrastructure in the country. He promised that the Federal Government would complete ongoing key projects in the South East, including the 2nd Niger Bridge as well as the railway lines and routes linking the region with other parts of the country.