People call me baba go-slow – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he knows that people call him “baba go-slow” in reference to his slow style of governance.

The 75-year-old made the disclosure in New York on Thursday during an interactive session with a select group of Nigerian professionals based in the United States and Canada.

“Those who were going fast –where did they go to?” he asked.

The president said he is not as slow as some people assume, saying he tries to follow the law, especially as democracy is different from military rule.

He recalled that he jailed people when he was a military head of state and then ensured they remained in custody until they were able to prove themselves innocent.

Buhari, however, said his administration was making progress but had to go by the law assuring that “if I win the next election and I survive the next four years, I will do better”.

The president said his administration has done well in the areas of security, economy and anti-corruption within the available resources.

He added that Boko Haram has been decimated, adding that it is most important for the country to be secured but regretted that the terrorist group is still targeting soft spots using girls for suicide bombings.

Buhari declared that “Boko Haram is not about religion but a pure terrorist group”, adding that “is why we are dealing with them”.

On corruption, he regretted that Nigeria made so much money from 1999 to 2014 when the price of crude oil per barrel was above 100 dollars while Nigeria produced around 1.2 million barrels per day.

“Calculate 2.2 million barrels times 100 dollars times 16 years; but everything went down the drain,” emphasising that “if Nigeria does not tame corruption, corruption will tame Nigeria”.

He also recounted his bitter experience in politics saying that he suffered electoral corruption from 2003 when he started contesting for the presidency and had at each point, pursued the case up to the Supreme Court but lost.

“I’m always conscious of the ordinary people because they are the ones that always vote for me. A lot of big men have no time to go and queue on the line for hours.

“There were even pregnant women who were on the line for hours and they delivered. They are my constituencies; they always vote for me,” Buhari said.