The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) yesterday described President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent remark on relocating to Niger Republic after the May 29 handover as an indication that the President was not committed to Nigeria.
President Buhari, who spoke at the ninth and final Sallah homage to him by residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he “can’t wait to go home to Daura” and “if they make any noise to disturb me in Daura, I will leave for the Niger Republic.”
The comment sparked a flurry of reactions from Nigerians as it is being interpreted by many as evidence of the president’s disinterest in the country’s current state of insecurity, economic decline, and widespread corruption.
On its part, the MBF maintained the comment simply showed that the president had never been committed to Nigeria in the first place.
MBF National President, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, said in a statement: “Yes, he has to retire after May 29 because it is a constitutional provision that after his tenure, he has to leave office for a new president to come in. But to say that if things become unpleasant, he would move to Niger Republic is unfortunate. That is to say that he had never been committed to Nigeria in the first place.
“A Nigerian President, who has served this country, should be here to die with Nigeria and Nigerians if he believed in Nigeria when he was president.
“So, for him to make that statement it may just mean that he didn’t believe in Nigeria in the first place. And it is unfortunate for him to have made that statement.
“We pray that we will have a President who believes in Nigeria, who will die with Nigeria, and who will die for Nigeria. Not somebody who if he finds things tough will run away from Nigeria to a safer haven.
“So, it is an unfortunate statement, I don’t know why he made that statement and I don’t know how his thoughts go but a person who believes in his country wouldn’t make such a statement because this is the only country that made him President and he should never back out whether he is serving or not; he should never back out from his country and her problems.”