- President Muhammadu Buhari has said he almost fled the country in 2016
- The president said the state of the nation after his inauguration made him consider leaving the country
- He said the Goodluck Jonathan administration handed over an 'absolutely terrible' economy to the APC-led administration
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that he nearly fled Nigeria in 2016 due to the deplorable state of the economy, The Sun reports.
President Buhari said the state of the nation handed over to him by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration made him (Buhari) consider abdicating his responsibilities as the president of Nigeria.
While speaking during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire, the president said the state of the economy was 'absolutely terrible'.
He said: “When I came, what I found out is terrible. It is absolutely terribly."
The president said it is regrettable that previous leaders failed to build any meaningful infrastructure during the era of oil boom.
He also said that since 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration has not only succeeded in pulling the country out of economic brink but also stabilised the polity and restored peace.
“We are lucky in Nigeria that we have been able to survive 2016. Honestly, I told some people close to me that I was thinking of which country to run to if things got out of hand.
“Between 1999 and 2014, I have said it several times in Nigeria, Nigeria had never got so much revenue like it did at that time. But then, when we came, the price of oil went down to $28 per barrel from an average of $100 per barrel at the production rate of 2.1 million barrel per day. So, multiply 2.1 million by $100, that is what Nigeria was getting from 1999 to 2014. But when we came, the price came down to $28. I went to Central Bank (of Nigeria) to look for money and they said there was no money, only debts.
“And the infrastructure – roads, rail, power- that you have been talking about, nothing was absolutely done. So, really, God hears the prayers of His servants and the last three raining seasons were good. We were very lucky I would have absconded.
“I mean how could we have faced Nigerians and tell them this is what you have been earning from 2.1 million barrels per day from 1999-2014 multiplied by $100. In fact, it even went up to $143; and then came down to about $70-$80. But when we came, it fell to $28, then to $37 and then oscillating between $30 and $50. So it was amazing but God came with His help," Buhari said.
Speaking on his mantra to fight corruption in Nigeria, President Buhari said, his administration is working hard to improve Nigeria's economy.
He said he will keep doing his best for Nigeria because he volunteered to serve as a president and was never forced.
Buhari said: “I’m assuring you that the good news you hear from home is the same that you hear from all over the world that we are not doing too badly in trying to secure the country, in trying to improve the economy, to get jobs for people and in trying to deal with corruption.
“I have said it that this is my second time like Gen. Obasanjo. When I came as a young man and in uniform, I arrested former ministers and governors and put them in Kirikiri. All of you know Kirikiri. I told them that they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent and it didn’t bother me because I was a youth and in uniform. So, I didn’t care about anybody.
“But now that I am back, everybody is innocent until I can prove them guilty. And at the same time, the same Nigerians are saying we are too slow. So what can you do really? You can only try but I am telling you that you can never satisfy our people back home.
“You know, when I was young and ruthless as a soldier I did what I did, somebody came, locked me up and gave them back their money and their houses. I went back into politics and after trying three times and ending up in Supreme Court, the fourth time God agreed and here I am.
“But when I came, what I found out is terrible. It is absolutely terribly but I’ll keep on doing my best because I volunteered to come, I have come, I have met what was on the ground and I hope I will make an impression."
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NAIJ.com earlier reported that the APC blasted a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, for claiming he would easily defeat President Buhari in 2019.
The APC said Nigerians would still vote for Buhari if he decides to seek re-election in 2019.
The party said the reason for which Nigerians voted Buhari in 2015 is still pertinent and would cause citizens to re-elect him in the next presidential election.
Atiku versus Buhari: Who will win? - on NAIJ.com TV