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Buhari: I’ve struggled to pay debt, invest in projects

…tells elites to criticize him strictly on performance

President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with Nigerians, especially the elites, to criticize his government by taking into consideration what it has achieved with the limited resources available to it. Buhari said he had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, revamping the rail and power sectors.

The president, who urged the people to be fair in the judgement of his government, disclosed that the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was paramount on the agenda of his administration.

The president, while receiving in audience Rev. Yakubu Pam, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), yesterday, said those criticizing his government should take the pains to compare his achievements with those of his predecessors before passing judgement.

“Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.

“We had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. This is what I hope the elite, when they want to criticise, will use to compare notes,” Buhari was quoted in a statement released by his spokesman, Femi Adesina. Commenting on insecurity in the North-East, the president said the people would not appreciate his efforts until they interface with people of that region who, with the benefit of hindsight, will explain what it used to be before he took over power and what obtains now. “What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe.

What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now? Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems, but they know the difference because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja).

We were not spared of the attacks at a time. Government is doing its best and I hope that eventually, our best will be good enough,” he said. The president said he was committed to the welfare of internally displaced people, especially the children who are missing the opportunity to attend schools.

“The people in IDP camps, the weak, aged, I feel sorry for the young because this is the time they are supposed to get education. We must not allow this time to pass because it will never be regained. So we are really interested in what is happening there and we are doing our best,” the president said. While commending the executive secretary on his appointment and activities on peace building around the country despite his short time in the saddle, he assured him of the listening ear of the government whenever he had contributions to make. Pam had, in his remarks, intimated the president with some of the activities of the Commission since he was appointed in July 2020.

These, he said, included organisation of Peace Summit on Southern Kaduna, as well as peace building efforts in Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states. He added that the Commission has proposed to host Christian religious leaders in a summit to help douse tension within the polity, among other plans.

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