Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, while speaking on the process that led to the emergence of Sen. Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate and Sen. Kashim Shettima as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election, has said that he is praying that Nigeria is able to have peaceful and successful elections.
President Buhari, according to a statement by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, disclosed this during a Sallah homage to the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, in Katsina State on Saturday, stressing that the processes that led to the emergence of Sen. Tinubu and Sen. Shettima were purely democratic, and a reflection of the will of party members.
The President said: “When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) signalled parties to elect their presidential candidates, we had 30 aspirants, mostly ministers in my cabinet and governors.
“I told each of the aspirants to go and do their best. One particular governor, in his wisdom, came to meet me and asked who they should vote for at the party convention, checking if I had a preferred candidate.
”There was no need for interference, knowing the competence of all the aspirants. They went and elected Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and he picked his running mate, Sen. Kashim Ibrahim.
”I am praying that we will have peaceful and successful elections,’’ he said.
Buhari, who thanked Nigerians for their support for the APC in 2015, and 2019, said he had a rich experience in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections, travelling to all the 774 local councils in the country, and in 2019, visiting 36 states.
“They say he who wants to serve should be ready for the responsibility of leadership. Three times I wanted this position and three times I ended up at the Supreme Court.
”For that reason, in terms of experience, I have gathered a lot. I visited 774 local councils in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.
“I feel privileged that Nigerians elected me in 2015. Since then, we have been doing our best to tackle the challenges, with God helping us.
”We are not alone. If only we know what other countries in Africa are passing through, we will be grateful to God, and protect our country. Other African countries are passing through a lot.
“As leaders, we are doing our best, and will keep doing our best to improve the situation.
”I am praying that the Almighty God will give us more strength and wisdom to protect our people, and fulfill our promises of ensuring their wellbeing,” he said.
According to the President, his administration will keep doing its best to address the concerns on security, which the Emir of Katsina and Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina, highlighted in their remarks.
“I have heard all that the governor and Emir have to say on what people expect from government. I will not add anything. I am the one receiving the orders. I will continue to do my best,’’ he said.
Buhari expressed appreciation to God that the seasons had been favourable for farming and food production.
“As I was going to Daura from Katsina, we had to use choppers, so I had a good view of some farms. May God continue to bless our efforts in farming.
Masari noted that many countries in the Sahel like Niger, Chad and Mali were struggling, with some having no stable government, admonishing that the social media had empowered many people to put out mischievous and false reports.
“Our religions are right by encouraging us to pray for our leaders as the world is passing through difficult times that need God’s intervention,’’ the governor said.
While thanking the President for his foresight, wisdom and patience, the Emir of Katsina urged him to pay more attention to security and infrastructure.
Before departing Katsina for Abuja, President Buhari donated four bulls, two to the army and two to the airforce officers, bags of rice and some money to those fighting banditry and terrorism in the state for their Sallah celebration.