Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, who visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Tuesday, said he went to inform the president about his trip abroad, to also discuss other matters affecting the nation.
Speaking shortly after emerging from a closed-door meeting with the president, Mr. Gowon, who said the last time he visited the president was in October 2015, told State House correspondents that “I have come to see the president, to say hello to him, I haven’t seen him for quite some time.
“This time I have come to see him to pay my respect to him and to let him know that I am going out of the country on vacation and my Programme of Nigeria Prays in the UK and the USA is coming towards the end of this month, and early next month,” he said.
The former Head of state said he had to come and let the president know that he was travelling out so that “in case of he wants me, he knows that I am out and he is going to pay my way back, if he wants me back for any programmes”.
He said they also discussed “general affairs of the country, the problems of the country, his fight against corruption, and all the efforts that he is making to deal with it and of course, the impatience of the public to see results of the fight which have yet to be found, since people have not been prosecuted yet, that would soon begin”.
Mr. Gowon commended Mr. Buhari for his determination to rid the country of corruption, which, he said, remains a key problem for the country.
Mr. Gowon also said they discussed the issue of the abducted Chibok girls with President Buhari and the efforts the government to rescue them.
He said the government needed to get credible information about the whereabouts of the girls and also those that would assist the government achieve that.
“I believe that the government is certainly determined to ensure that a number of these girls are brought back home safely as soon as possible.
“To achieve that, certain credibility must be established of our sources of information on their location, but as at yet, no one knows where these girls are, and all these information that you have been getting, I don’t know their sources, but all efforts at engaging the international media and sources are necessary so that this matter can be resolved once and for all,” he said.
He said they also discussed what the government was doing to meet the expectations of Nigerians. He however, said citizens have to be patient with the Buhari administration.
“Please remember that we used to sell petroleum at $150 per barrel, but what is it today? It’s merely around $30 per barrel and the amount of crude oil that we used to produce was over two million barrels, but now it has gone down to about one million because of the problem we have been having with people blowing pipelines in the Niger Delta area.
“So we have problems and there isn’t enough money to be able to go round.
“ So very soon, with the efforts the government is making to get things back to normal, making contacts with the Avengers and other aggrieved militants in the Niger Delta’ who are creating havoc there, we hope that all will be well soon,” Mr. Gowon said.