President Muhammadu Buhari says people and himself have wondered why Nigerians have accepted him.
He also stated that Nigerians should congratulate themselves, pointing out that Nigeria is a “lucky” country that has not disintegrated despite its many challenges.
Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman in a statement, said Mr Buhari stated this when he received the report of the National Security Summit held on May 26 by the House of Representatives.
The report was submitted by a team of House members, led by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Mr Buhari urged political leaders to respect Nigerians, from the lowest to the highest, “so that it becomes a duty to them (the people) to pay back to the leadership.”
According to him, respect for Nigerians should allow them to choose who they like as their leaders, irrespective of political party or religion.
While describing the event as “a remarkable occasion,” Mr Buhari restated his determination to serve the country to the best of his ability. He recalled his visits to the country’s 36 states during the 2019 election campaigns, stating it was overwhelming.
Mr Buhari said, “The number of people that turned out to see me, some waiting for 10 hours in the sun, was more than anyone could buy, or force.
“They just wanted to see who this Buhari was. People wonder why Nigerians accept me, despite not being rich. I wonder, too. I felt I just have to serve Nigeria and Nigerians to the best of my ability.”
He commended the 9th National Assembly for its cooperation with his regime, saying he tried hard to get the 8th Assembly to do the same for the sake of the country, “and I didn’t succeed much.”
“But time has proved me right,” Mr Buhari asserted.
In his remarks, Mr Gbajabiamila thanked the president for endorsing the security summit conducted by the House.
“You were part of it from the very beginning, and you were to have declared it open, if not for the exigencies of duty,” he said.