President Muhammadu Buhari says he plans to be a “big landlord” back at home, working on his farms and tending his more than 300 animals.
“I am eager to go,” Buhari said at the State House in Abuja Tuesday while receiving the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard.
He said given the chance of a free and fair election as well as non-interference as was witnessed in the February 25 and March 18 elections, Nigerians had proved to be capable of deciding who led them without anyone telling them what to do.
He expressed satisfaction with the remarkable passion towards democracy exhibited by Nigerians through the choices they made in the 2023 general elections.
The president, according to a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Nigeria’s democracy had truly matured.
He said: “People are realising their power. Given the chance of a free and fair vote, nobody can tell them what to do. I am unhappy that some candidates lost in the election.
“But I am inspired by the fact that voters were able to make their own decision, to decide who won and who lost. With the currency change, there was no money to spread around but even then, I told voters to take the money and vote according to their consciences.”
He said he was completely satisfied with his own role in the election process staying above it, without meddlesomeness or any form of interference.
He commended the outgoing ambassador for the enormous achievements recorded in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half
He expressed hope that Nigeria would continue to make progress in building a nation out of our different and competitive communities.
The president said he enjoyed working with Leonard and wished that she had more time to serve here.
Earlier, Leonard had listed fuel subsidy removal among critical decisions Buhari could take before leaving office on May 29.
She said she was happy with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half years, specifically citing the recent institution of a five-year visa regime between the two countries; active collaboration in security and the supply of military hardware including warplanes and the soon-to-come fighter helicopters; and also cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and COVID response, giving assurances that US will continue to assist in the strengthening of Nigeria’s health sector.
She expressed her gratitude and that of the US government in the continuing role of the President in ensuring regional security and strengthening of democracy as a system of government, citing his strong response against the recent surge of coups-d’état in West Africa as worthy of commendation.