Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to those urging him to groom a successor in 2023.
According to him, naming a successor now will create problems for him and those making such calls at this time.
The President who spoke while receiving the members of the Progressive in Academics (Pro-Acad) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he will rather keep his mouth shut.
The group led by its conveyer, Dr. Bolarenwa Bolaji, had asked him to start grooming a youth who will replace him when his second term tenure expires in 2023.
Buhari noted that becoming a president is not an overnight job, but painstaking process.
He recalled, for the umpteenth time, how he failed in his three previous attempts, before he was able to get it the fourth time with the help of technology, PVC (Permanent Voters Card) and Card Reader.
“Succession, to me this is very funny, because if I did find anybody I will create more problems for him or her. Let those who want to be president try as much as I did.
“I believe those who are interested need to know that I tried three times and the fourth time, I thank God and technology, the PVC. Before, they would announce the result on radio and television, and said anybody who disagreed should go to court. Most of my supporters are looking for next day’s meal, they don’t have money to give to lawyers. So I said God dey!
“So, the fourth time because of technology they couldn’t rig the elections, so I won. So this time around I tried to work hard.
“So, I think you have more to do as intellectuals to make sure you correct Nigeria’s intellectual development, it is very important for the next generation.
“A lot of our young people are taking things for granted. Imagine to contest elections three times and ending up in the Supreme Court, it takes a lot of conviction and hard work. But people take things for granted, they say I want to be the president. As if I just closed my eyes and opened and I got it.”
He also blamed state governments for the state of the Al-majiri system in the country.
“Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for progress, they decided not to go back to the dark days of impunity and corruption.
“Education remains a top priority for our government. In the last four years, we injected over N1 trillion into education through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund) and our needs assessment interventions.
“We also released N25 billion to public universities to pay earned academic allowances to lecturers. Of course, you are all aware of the rot we uncovered at JAMB and many other institutions.
“Our home grown school feeding programme covering more than 10 million children couple with our social investment initiative has encouraged many parents to send their children to school and also pay for more teachers in classrooms.
“In the next four years we shall continue with the work to transform the sector bearing in mind our high population growth rate, financial challenges and security issues especially those grossly affected areas. Simply put our focus and agenda can only be sustained if we have educated and secured society. “Therefore, we have no choice but produce more engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and the teachers.”
To achieve this, we shall continue to seek your advise and guidance. I am pleased to note some of the ideas you proposed, this submission is timely as we prepare for the next level.”