President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described as unbelievable some things he saw upon assuming office as President.
The President, who made the declaration while receiving a delegation of the Governance Support Group at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said he was still wondering how Nigeria managed to survive the abuses it was subjected to by some of the previous administrations.
“Some of the things I saw here were unbelievable. I still shudder and wonder how a country can survive under such abuses. It is only by an act of God that we survived,” he said.
The President also said his administration had ushered in a new era of accountability and responsibility by auditing and correcting the many wrongs of the past that crippled the economy and created an exclusive class, promising to consolidate on the reforms he had initiated for change in the country.
He said the longsuffering, commitment and sacrifices of his supporters over the years will be remembered by posterity, urging them to remain steadfast in pursuing the overall good of the nation.
Receiving the Governance Support Group at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said he remained “eternally grateful’’ for all the personal and collective sacrifices that culminated in his winning the 2015 presidential election, assuring them that their efforts would never be forgotten.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said: “I can never forget your sacrifices and I am grateful for all. You never gave up when things were bleak and we needed to survive. I can’t express my gratitude enough.
“In spite of the environment you found yourself, you kept believing and pushing. Some of you were really exposed to risks. My consolation is that you voluntarily threw in your lot with me.
“Some of you exposed yourself so much, and I knew it. I urge you to still stick to your principled way of doing things and our country will be the better for it,’’ he said.
President Buhari told his supporters that he was not oblivious of the personal risks and investments that brought in the government, citing the appointment of Mr. Boss Mustapha as Secretary to the Government of the Federation as most deserved because of his steadfastness.
“I want you to maintain your steadfastness. We have gone through the worst of the times. We lost elections three times and I learnt a lot along the way,’’ he said.
According to him, after losing in three elections and pursuing cases up to the Supreme Court, he learnt that ethnicity and religion had no place in Nigerian politics, but personal interests prevailed.
The Chairman of the Governance Support Group, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, commended the President for the bold initiatives in restoring security, tackling corruption, and setting the economy on a more predictable path.
Nwajiuba said the group would continue to support and advise the President on areas that needed more attention, which include engagement with party members and supporters, empowerment of Nigerians and the fight against kidnapping.