President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said Nigerians who felt that they had another country outside Nigeria might choose to go. He said he and others who did not have another country would rather stay back and salvage it together.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying this while receiving the All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants and members of the party from the three senatorial zones of Kwara State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He enjoined Nigerians to remain faithful and loyal to the country in all their dealings.
Buhari said, “You don’t have to be in uniform to be loyal. “What I said long ago in 1984 is still valid today. We have no other country but Nigeria. “Others who feel they have another country may choose to go. We will stay here and salvage it together.”
Buhari also lauded his former deputy, the late Maj. Gen. Tunde Idiagbon (retd.), for what he described as his rare example of loyalty to the country and to a superior.
He urged Nigerians to emulate him. “The late Maj.-Gen. Tunde Idiagbon was a very rare example of what loyalty to the fatherland and to a superior should be. “Tunde was strong, loyal and extremely committed to the cause of positively changing the narrative about Nigeria, which the administration set out to do at that time,” Buhari said.
The President also recalled how his former deputy, who, while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia when the administration was overthrown in 1985, insisted on returning to the country despite the political uncertainty especially as he had learnt that he, as Commander-in-Chief at that time, had not been killed in the coup.
He added that the late Idiagbon rejected the offer from the King of Saudi Arabia to bring members of his (Idiagbon) family from Nigeria to the Kingdom, as he was his guest at that time, and eventually returned to Nigeria to suffer arrest like he (Buhari) did.
Buhari thanked the APC stakeholders for the position they had taken to continue to support the party regardless of the outcome of the primaries and assured them that, with the unity displayed so far, the APC would form the government in Kwara State after the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the APC in Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has said President Buhari has directed party chiefs to ensure they win the state in the 2019 elections.
Abdulrazaq spoke with State House correspondents shortly after he joined other party leaders from the state at a meeting they had with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The state is currently being governed by Abdulfatah Ahmed, who recently defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who is also from the state. Abdulrazaq told reporters that the state had become a battleground.
He said, “Kwara has become a battleground and as you can see, we have come here to see Mr President. “Having gone through a hectic process of primaries, we went through direct primaries in which about a hundred thousand party faithful voted. “We had our difficulties but we have come to see the President to tell him that all is well and we are in unison and he has given us a marching order to go and win Kwara.”
When asked about Saraki’s influence in the politics of the state, the governorship candidate claimed that the President of the Senate had become history. “He (Saraki) is history. We have gone past him and we are looking at Government House,” he boasted.