•Vows not to relent until agents of darkness are eliminated
•Buhari declares readiness to account for his tenure
President Bola Tinubu openly acknowledged the efforts of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, saying he courageously took over government at a time when terrorism was at its peak in the country.
Tinubu spoke as Chief Guest at the launch of a book, “Working with Buhari, Reflections of a Special Adviser on Media and Publicity (2015–2023),” authored by erstwhile presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina.
The president said he inherited the job of securing every inch of the country’s territory, and assured that he would not relent until every agent of darkness was finally eliminated.
Buhari, who was visiting the nation’s capital for the first time since leaving office on May 29, 2023, said he kept record of everything done under his watch and was aware he might be required to give account of his stewardship.
Emphasising that the task of governing the country was not an easy one, Tinubu said Buhari assumed office at a very difficult period, when the economy was spiralling into recession and Boko Haram had taken over swaths of territory in the North-east.
He stated, “At a point, it appeared even Abuja, the seat of government, would fall into the hands of Boko Haram, with the bombing of the UN Building, Banex Plaza, Nyanya, and other locations within the Federal Capital Territory.
“We cannot easily forget how our armed forces battled the Boko Haram terrorists under the leadership of President Buhari to reclaim our territory and push them to the fringes of Lake Chad, where they no longer pose existential threat to our sovereignty.”
The president boasted that his government would stamp out the remaining vestiges of Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping gangs, adding, “We won’t rest until every agent of darkness is completely rooted out.
“I must say the job of securing every inch of our country is yet to be finished. My government will stamp out the remaining vestiges of Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping gangs. We won’t rest until every agent of darkness is completely rooted out.”
Speaking further at the well-attended book launch, Tinubu said he was elated to receive his predecessor in Abuja.
The event had in attendance Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, who was chief launcher, former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as well as former ministers, who served in Buhari’s government,
According to the president, “We are all here today to honour a great man, a patriot, a dedicated public servant, who offered his best in the service of our country since he joined the army in 1962 at age 18.
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“President Buhari served our country with dedication and uncommon zeal. First as a military officer, who offered unblemished service, manning important commands and political positions, and crowning it as military Head of State on 1st January 1984.
“Second, as a politician, who ran four times for the highest office until he was elected President in 2015. The authors of the book we are here to present to the public have done justice to the essential Muhammadu Buhari, especially on his tenure and legacy as the 15th President of Nigeria.”
Tinubu also hinted that he had adopted a policy of non-interference, which, he observed, was the hallmark of Buhari.
He stated, “After handing over, you said, ‘I will be far away in Daura but if you need me, contact me. But I won’t intrude in whatever you are doing. I won’t interfere or breathe down your throat.’
“We’ve partnered to make democracy flourish in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari, thank you. Except when I call you to say how are you doing? Are you in the farm? We don’t hear from you either to nominate or intrude the cabinet or complain about anything. Thank you for being who you are.
“Well, I’ve emulated you, one of those things is non-interference, being a democrat, responsible for nation building. Staying on course, I am determined to do just that. Because I campaigned for this job.
“And you told me in our discussions it’s not easy. But I went out there dancing for it, making promises, doing Kokoma, doing all collabos, making music. So, I cannot complain. We will be there.”
Tinubu said history will be kind to Buhari for promoting local production of goods to grow the economy as well as infrastructure development.
Buhari, while noting the efforts of the authors of the books to document his administration’s achievements, said, “Without documentation, revisionism wins. Human beings often have short memories, and unless events are recorded in cold print, some people would come and attempt to either distort, or even obliterate recent history.
“But the fact in our favour is that nothing was done under the veil of secrecy. We were as transparent and accountable as possible, being aware of the fact that posterity was the ultimate judge.
“We kept records of our stewardship, knowing that we would always be required to account for the trust entrusted to us. This event today is part of accounting for our two terms in office, and I thank those who have laboured day and night, to ensure that this history is recorded for now and the future.
“Government is a continuum. It is like a relay race. You run your course, and hand over the baton to the next person. This we have done. President Tinubu administration has my support and confidence, in the quest for us to have a country of our dreams, where there is emancipation for our teeming population.”
The former president added, “With the cumulative achievements of government after government, I believe we will get there in no distant time. In our journey to the desired destination, there will be hard decisions taken, and the people would bear some costs.
“We can only seek their understanding, and state that there was no intention to deliberately inflict pain and anguish on anyone. This is why I apologised to such people at the end of our time in office. Sacrifices are still being made now, and will continue to be part of our national life and development.”