President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday promised that he will no longer complain about the problems his administration met at its inception.
According to him, lamenting Nigeria’s history of corruption and mismanagement of resources has not helped his administration much.
The President spoke during his interaction with Nigerians at the Kraków Holiday Inn , Poland, an event put together by Abike Dabiri, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, as part of his engagements on the sidelines of the global summit on Climate Change taking place in Poland.
Instead of complaining, Buhari said, he will face the challenges head on.
His words: “We inherited so many problems. Actually, l have said l will not complain because l asked for it. I tried to become President three times and l lost , but l was lucky the fourth time, l became one, so l can’t complain”
“Who asked me to do it again? Three times l ended up in the Supreme Court. The third time, l said, ‘God dey’ and the fourth time, God and technology, using the Permanent Voters Card and the Card Readers, they couldn’t rig the elections; so l won.”
Buhari also expressed delight at the resilience of Nigerians in Poland, which he said had helped them maintain good relationship with their host communities despite such cases of hostilities and racial discrimination.
The President had earlier been briefed about the challenges Nigerians face in Poland as well as their relative good behavior despite the hostility and discriminations by some of their hosts.
The President had told his audience that he will attempt to respond to the questions raised by them, even though they might not be satisfied with his responses.
“You may not be satisfied with my answers, but l will be very sincere with you, as l keep trying to do with all our people where ever they are,” he said.
On security, Buhari said he had always taken it as his No 1 priority, because of the understanding that any investments drive will be useless without first securing the environment.
“It just makes sense. You have to secure our country or even the institutions or environment to manage it properly. If they are not secured, you are wasting your time. So, security has always been our number one priority.”
“Those in the Northeast will tell you that before we came, the so called Boko Haram used to hold about 17 local governments; now, physically , they are not holding any local government. So they have resulted to real guerilla tactics of hit and run.
“They mobilise, hit targets and then disappear again because they know the area more than the soldiers that are defending them. Our soldiers, are from Port Harcourt, Lagos, Sokoto, but they are locally there and know the terrain more than the soldiers.
He lamented that “it is not easy financing the war against terror”.
Earlier, the Nigerian Ambassador to Poland , Eric Adagogo Bell-Gam, in his welcome remarks, had said that some Nigerians in Poland were stable professionally.
He also noted that there were many Nigerians studying in Poland because of the relative cheap nature and quality of the country’s educational system.
The ambassador lamented however, that Nigerians were like other non- Polish citizens, subjects of racial discrimination, as according to him, “ there is a very high problem of animosity, dislike for foreigners”
“Even in Nigeria, we have this spectacular problem if getting visas from their embassy there. I used to ask them, you want to improve relationships with Nigeria, yet you don’t want our people to come. How do we improve?
“From my perspective, l do not know about others, l found them a little bit less friendly to us than my encounters in other parts of the world where l have been lucky to serve.”
Despite these, however, Nigerians in Poland, he said, “have been able to persevere, like the strong spirited people that they are, in spite of all the provocations, sometimes unwarranted, but l must say that a lot of our people here are living above board. Nigerians here have made us proud.”
Among the Nigerians who met President Buhari were Adekunle Ayoola, a produce merchant promoting Nigeria agricultural produce in Europe; Larry Ugwu, an artist and curator, who has lived in Poland for 40 years and contributed to promoting Nigerian cultural heritage in the Polish society; Anthony Egwuatu, a Gynaecologist, who has lived in the country for 30 years, Olomofe Larry, a human rights activist, who has fought for justice for fellow Nigerians in the host country, among several others.
With the President were Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Yahaya Bello and Abubakar Sani Bello of Enugu, Kogi and Niger states.
Others on his entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and the Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin. National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongonu was also there.