President Muhammadu Buhari has relieved his experiences following his serial contest for the seat of the president, noting that his prayers were answered through the use of card readers for the 2015 elections.
The president said this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, published in its Special Print Edition.
Asked what was the lessons from his persistence in running for the office of president for four consecutive times before he eventually won, the president said he had learnt that it was necessary to entrust “everything to God, who knows the time he has set for all things.”
“When the time He (God) had set for me came, He used technology to bring me in,” he said.
“The card reader made it impossible for those in power to write fictitious results as they had always done.”
Mr Buhari said having been elected for a second term in office, he would prioritise three fundamental areas, namely, security, economy, and the fight against corruption.
He, however, said he would also ensure the creation of jobs, and focus on power generation, infrastructure, healthcare, technology, a new curriculum for education with an emphasis on science, empowering of people at the lower rungs of the ladder through People Moni Bank, catering for entrepreneurs through Entrepreneurs Bank, more opportunities for women and youth, and many others.
“All these will translate to good legacies, which will put Nigerians firmly at the Next Level, along with clean elections, which I mentioned earlier,” he said.
On security, the President disagreed PREMIUM TIMES that some of the promises he made in 2015, especially to curtail insecurity, had largely remained unfulfilled.
“Yes, I made all those promises in 2015, and work is in progress on them. To say the problems remain, without admitting that they are not exactly in the same way and shape they used to be, would not be quite right,” he said.
“Corruption, power, Boko Haram insurgency, employment generation, reviving the economy, are all being tackled. And we are making progress.
“Part of why we asked for a second term, which our constitution allows, is to ensure that we put all these things on solid footings. And that, we shall do.”
Mr Buhari said he was now a “reformed democrat” having learnt from the democratic process in the last 20 years.
He noted that democracy was the path Nigerians have chosen and that Nigerians democracy was growing and would continue to grow.
According to Mr Buhari, the country had fared better since the last four years in the areas of economy and the reduction in corruption.
On the political front, Mr Buhari said with many elections being held at the state levels, it had been demonstrated that the party in power did not have to win by hook or crook.
“It didn’t use to be so, because elections did or die then. But we are engendering a new culture in which the will and wishes of the people are respected. That is part of the legacies I want to leave for the country. Clean Elections,” he said.
On his failure to change his security chiefs despite the failing security situation in the country, Mr Buhari said the crisis was not one that needed a change of personnel.
“I can assure that these mass killings will soon be behind us. The exact strategy or approach is not something for media discussion,” he said.