President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed those he described as wicked people for plundering the country, saying they have “kept Nigerians poor.”
The President said this in London Sunday while receiving a delegation of the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation led by Mr Charles Sylvester.
He, however, noted that looking at the condition in which his administration met the country, without savings and the economy badly vandalised, “we have not done too badly.”
President Buhari said the damage done to the Nigerian economy in the years of plunder was massive, and that government was doing its best to recover some of the loot, although it was impossible to identify and recover all.
“If they had used 50% of the money we made when oil prices went as high as $143 dollars per barrel and stabilised at $100 dollars with production at 2.1 million barrels per day for many years, Nigerians would have minded their businesses.
“You could almost grow food on our roads, as they were abandoned. The stealing was so much, and they were so inept that they could not even cover the stealing properly. I wonder how all those things could have happened to our country,” he decried in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President, who noted that Nigeria was gifted with tremendous human and natural resources, regretted that the failure of some of the leadership the nation had in the past led to the inability of his administration to capitalise on resources to improve the lot of the people.
He, however, commended Nigerians who are in the diaspora defending the country, stressing that they have shown courage and sacrifice.
President Buhari further assured them that their confidence in the Federal Government would not be abused, as his administration would do its best to justify it.
He also thanked the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation for deciding to identify with the country, “when you could have stayed here, and being comfortable.”
Responding, the coordinator of the organisation, Mr Sylvester said the group was happy with the achievements of President Buhari’s administration so far.
He noted that that President has overcome most of the challenges he met, especially in the areas of agriculture revolution, ease of doing business, anti-corruption war, employment of youths through the N-Power programme, and the blockage of leakages in the public sector through the Treasury Single Account (TSA), among others.
Sylvester also commended the efforts of the government in the war against insurgency in the North East, as well as his declaration to seek re-election in 2019.
In his word, the coordinator said, “We are proud of the speed with which you recovered the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. It shows you as a worthy general. We are happy that you have declared for 2019. Majority of Nigerians are happy, but agents of corruption and darkness are unhappy.
“The same God, who healed you when you were ill, will grant you victory in the 2019 elections. You are a general who does not fear combat, either with generals or non-generals.”
“We declare our love and support for you. You are fixing the faulty foundations of our country and the second term is when you will build the enduring structure,” he added.