Former President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigerians are difficult people to govern.
Gatekeepers News reports that Buhari, while speaking during an interview with NTA (his first since handing over to President Bola Tinubu in May), said he did his best as Nigeria’s leader for all of eight years.
The immediate-past president, while noting that he would let people be the judge on whether that “best was good enough” or not, noted Nigerians are a difficult to manage because “they think they should be” on the saddle, “not you”.
Buhari said, “God gave me the opportunity to serve my country, but I did my best. But whether my best was good enough, I leave for people to judge.
“Nigerians are extremely difficult. People know their rights. They think they should be there, not you.
“So, they monitor virtually your every step. And you have to struggle day and night to ensure that you are competent enough.”
There were rumours of a cabal hijacking the Buhari presidency from the early days of his administration.
Aisha Buhari, t
The then first lady, Aisha Buhari, lent credence to the insinuations in 2016 when she said, “You will know them (the hijackers) if you watch television”.
In response to this, Buhari said, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.
“So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end I have succeeded.”
Asked during the NTA interview if he felt his government may have been hijacked by a cabal, Buhari said “it must have been”, adding however that he was not sure anyone who broke the law was allowed to “walk away”.
On the controversial naira redesign policy which led to cash shortages before and during the general election, the immediate-past president said the move was imperative to check those who had stashed ill-gotten money.
Buhari said, “Whether Nigerians believe it or not, we are an underdeveloped country. And in that sort of situation, there’s materialism and sometimes ruthlessly they didn’t care how they made the money.
“I still feel that the only way I could deprive these people was just to make sure that my integrity became unquestionable… I think as a developing country we still have a long way to go.
“The motivation (for the policy) was to try and make Nigerians believe that there is no shortcut to successful leadership.”
He further spoke about how technology made him win the 2015 presidential poll after previous futile attempts.
Buhari said, “Instead of people expressing sympathy, people laughed at me because I didn’t have money, because I couldn’t buy influence in any form, either from influential people or others. And I said ‘God dey’. And he sent the Permanent Voter Card (PVC). Meaning you now have only one vote.”
He also said he was not sure he achieved all he set out to achieve as Nigeria’s leader from 2015 to 2023, adding however, that he does not miss being out of office.