President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday while speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja during his 77th birthday celebration said that democratic process was too slow for his liking.
Buhari compared the current war against corruption and the justice system to when he was a military leader in 1983 and 1985.
According to him, when he became Head of State in 1983, he jailed people who were perceived to be living above their means and told them they were guilty until they prove themselves innocent. But under democratic process, they are innocent until proven guilty.
“That this honourable court in the course of the proceedings of Thursday December 5, 2019, mandated the 1st respondent to release the applicant within 24 hours.
“That the applicant was released on the said December 5, 2019 at about 7pm.
“That on Friday, December 6, 2019, officials of the State Security Service under the command of the 1st respondent invaded the court.
“That on Friday December 6, 2019, the respondents stormed the court room number 7 of this Honourable Court presided over by Honourable Justice ljeoma Ojukwu in the course of proceedings to effect rearrest of the applicant without an order of court or an arrest warrant to that effect.”
Buhari who also spoke on how he feels to be 77, said; “Well, I think I feel well at 77. A lot of those at 77 are on crutches and I am walking on my two feet.”
Talking about leadership in Nigeria, he said; “I think I have come to accept the realities of leadership in Nigeria; you can only try, it is a terrific country.
“No matter what you do, there are people on a daily basis that look for your faults and go to the press. So, you have to learn to live by that”, he added.
Speaking about the 2023 general election, he noted that he would do all within his powers to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
He noted that anyone who wants to contest in 2023 must work hard to win the votes of Nigerians.
“What I want to promise Nigerians is that I will work very hard on free and fair elections.
“All those that are going to succeed in the National Assembly and the Presidency, they better work very hard because I will make sure, using the law enforcement agencies, that elections are free and fair; that nobody uses his office or his resources to force himself on his constituency.”
The only way President Buhari will ensure violent free and fair elections in 2023 is to sign a new amended electoral act into law. This is not the first time he’s promised free and credible elections, but what Nigerians get is war.
The last elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States on November 16 were marred with violence despite Buhari’s similar promise.
The President however called for patience and patriotism by Nigerians; “Patience and patriotism, that is what we will see as a rule. Nobody can have his own way; we better accept the truth that we are one Nigeria, we keep on building.
“God has blessed us with land and people and resources. We must have the patience to exploit them and leave something for our future generations”, he added.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.