President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that he cannot complain about any situation he may be passing through now as the president because he has come to terms with the realisation that the higher one goes, the hotter it is in Nigeria.
The president made the remark on Monday while receiving retired army generals, admirals, marshals and former military governors/administrators who came on a courtesy call to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
During the visit, the retired top military officers declared their support for him in the coming presidential election, saying that they were very proud of him.
Buhari who spoke against the backdrop of the efforts he made to get to the position of the president said: “The higher you go in Nigeria, the hotter it becomes, and not the other way round. But I can’t complain. I tried so hard to be here three times, ending up at the Supreme Court. So, I can’t complain over anything I am going through now.”
He said that his objective as president was very clear and that he would continue to do his best.
He said the country had enough human and material resources to be great and prayed that God would continue to give Nigeria good leaders.
Recalling what he said in his days as military head of state that “We have no other country but Nigeria. We will stay here and salvage it together,” President Buhari noted that even if one was blessed enough to send children for training abroad, “after such training, they will still have to come back here. We must, therefore, give our best for our country. The patriotism imbued in us by the military will ever remain relevant. Let’s do our best for this country.”
Describing Nigeria as “a fabulous country,” the President said if it were not so, “the country could not have survived the damage done to it materially and morally in the past,” glorifying God that after 30 months civil war, with over two million lives lost, “we are still one country.”
President Buhari prayed that Nigeria would not lack people who could exploit its human and material resources.
He described the military as an institution that gives amazing opportunities to know the country, its different peoples and cultures, “and I am very grateful that you have claimed me back as one of your own. I was governor of North-east, which is now six states, Minister of Petroleum for over three years, head of state; I was arrested and detained, but did not lose my rank, because nothing was found against me.”
Leader of the delegation, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, who was military governor in Borno, and later military administrator of Lagos State, said the retired top officers thought it right to visit the President, “to say that you have represented your constituency very well. You announced a simple three-point agenda upon assumption of office namely security; fighting corruption, and the economy. You have kept your words as an officer and a gentleman.”
Gen Marwa added: “We the retired armed forces officers, representing 99.9% of our colleagues say that we are proud of you; proud to be associated with your administration; and proud to witness this era of Nigeria rising again under your able leadership. We support you fully and totally in the presidential elections next week and will do whatever we can within the law to contribute to your emergence as the victor in the election in order to take Nigeria to the next level.”
The most senior of the retired officers, Vice Admiral Jubrila Ayinla, a former Chief of Naval Staff, who said future generations would acquit President Buhari “most creditably,” added: “On behalf of the generals here today, I congratulate you on the tremendous work done by this administration, and wish to state unequivocally that we are proud of you and fully behind you in the presidential elections next week. We pledge our full support and continued loyalty.”
The delegation was made of one Vice Admiral, two Lt-Generals, 15 Major Generals, two Rear Admirals, eight Air Vice-Marshals, 12 Brigadier-Generals, three Commodores, nine Air Commodores, and 17 former military governors/administrators, among others.