Olalekan Adetayo and Kamarudeen Ogundele
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said Nigerian politicians were currently preoccupied with the 2019 general elections.
He, however, said unlike other politicians, the nation’s security and economy were what concerned him.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President made his position known at a bilateral meeting he had with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street, London, as part of his ongoing official visit to the United Kingdom.
“We campaigned on three major issues – to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption.
“We have elections next year, politicians are now preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy,” the President was quoted as saying at the meeting.
While insisting that there could never be progress without knowledge of where the people were coming from, Buhari said it was a mistake to stop the teaching of history in Nigerian schools.
“People ought to know how they arrived where they are. It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now,” he said.
Buhari commended British companies like Unilever, Cadbury, and many others which he said stood with Nigeria through thick and thin, noting that even during the civil war, they never left.
He, however, asked for more investments in the country.
The President also briefed May on his administration’s strides in agriculture, which he said had put Nigeria firmly on the road to food self-sufficiency.
He said, “I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture: We have cut rice importation by about 90 per cent; made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment.”
On education, Buhari said more investment was being made, because “people can look after themselves if well-educated.”
Addressing the Prime Minister on climate change and environmental issues, Buhari stressed the need for inter-basin water transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad.
He also made a case for the recharging of Lake Chad which he said was now about 10 per cent of its original size.
Buhari said recharging of the lake would reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems.
May was said to have promised that Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military.
She was said to have been particular about abduction of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria the needed assistance.
‘Stop lamenting poor economy’
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has however told Buhari to stop behaving like a “weeping President” by lamenting about what his predecessors failed to do.
He also told the President to stop blaming past leaders for the inability of his administration to fulfil his campaign promises.
The governor said this in a reaction to a statement credited to the President while receiving some members of the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation in London.
The governor in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Monday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said it was shameful that the President had forgotten that he was also among the past leaders he was blaming for the country’s economic problems.
The statement said, “The negative foundation laid by the likes of President Buhari caused the problems of the country.
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