Leading Nigeria One Of The Hardest Challenges In Life – Buhari
Former President Muhammadu Buhari has described the leadership of Nigeria as one of the hardest challenges in life.
He said this in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians.
Buhari handed over power to President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, and withdrew into private life afterwards.
In the statement, which Mallam Garba Shehu, former presidential spokesman, issued on Tuesday, Buhari appealed to Nigerians to rally round his successor.
“Leading a country like Nigeria is one of the hardest challenges in life and urged Nigerians to fully support the Tinubu Administration to succeed and that leadership is a challenging task that demands the sacrifices and support of the citizens.”
Buhari said this 24 hours after he claimed that Tinubu would have lost if he removed fuel subsidy.
In a statement on Monday, Buhari defended his action, saying he did not toe that path in order to avoid the All Progressives Congress (APC) losing the February 25 election.
Shehu said there were multiple subsidies that the Buhari administration inherited in 2015, but they were gone before he handed over power.
“Why did it take the new Tinubu/ Shettima presidency weeks to remove the petrol subsidy when Buhari didn’t do so for years fails to ask the right question. The massive electricity subsidy. The fraudulent fertilizer subsidy. Hajj/Christian Pilgrim subsidies. Remember them?”
“The diesel subsidy. The aviation fuel subsidy. LPFO. Kerosene. Cooking gas and the other subsidy policies we found in place, and put them firmly on the ground. Remember them?
“For those with short memories, many of those subsides were all in place when president Buhari was elected to office in 2015: all those in place were gone by May 2023 – including the annual fertilizer subsidy that weighed 60-100 billion Naira (that’s trillion naira in about 10 years – yes you read that right) heavy on the federal budget each year.
“So no, Buhari didn’t remove the petrol subsidy – but in vitally important stages he removed every other budget-busting, egregious, economic-growth-crushing subsidy along the way.
“So far I have refrained from answering these repeated questions on the removal in Nigeria of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS and that arising from the dual rates of the Naira in the Central Bank and the parallel market: Why did Buhari “fail” to do these?
“First of all, my thinking is that instead of the former President answering this question, it is the Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC that is best suited to speak and failing to do this, we are forced to say what will follow here.
“Secondly, we are mindful of the fact that with a Tinubu/Shettima presidency now in place and for which there is a “New Sheriff in Town.”
“We do not want to distract them from the onerous tasks facing them and the nation. Neither is it our wish to take the spotlight away from them in any way.
“In terms of the timings of the decisions to remove fuel subsidy and unify the currency, the Tinubu/Shettima administration has done overwhelmingly well. Even more importantly, they have been most dexterous in managing the aftermath of the decisions by successfully avoiding any crisis.
“To this extent, our wish and prayers are that fellow countrymen will continue to support the new leadership in these very laudable decisions and, in particular, for the Labour leadership and civil society to work with them to ensure that the palliative efforts as promised are successfully implemented.
“The decision to remove subsidies, as in our case – and we believe in all situations – was not for the President to take all by himself.