President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, disclosed that he would not interfere in the outcome of the 2023 Presidential election, expressing his willingness to accept anybody elected by Nigerians.
President Buhari, who spoke in an interview with Channels Television’s crew, also admitted to having a favourite candidate among presidential aspirants jostling to succeed him in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He, however, declined to mention his ‘favourite candidate’ for fear of the candidate not being ‘eliminated’.
He said: “I don’t have problem with 2023 elections. Let anybody elected come in, but nobody should call me to come and give evidence.”
When asked if he has a favourite candidate to succeed him, President Buhari initially said “no”, but when prodded further, he said, “Yes, I have a favourite candidate, but I would not mention his name, he may be eliminated.”
President Buhari, who described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a “failure”, said his government has done its best to maintain security in the country and stop importation of rice and other food items to the country.
Speaking on the detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, the President said despite the fact that he would not interfere in the proceeding of the court, political solution is possible if “Kanu behaves himself.”
He said: “If there is one institution I will not interfere with, it is the judiciary. When Kanu was in Europe abusing us and attacking his country, he should have known that he would have to account for his action. We are giving him the opportunity to defend himself in our system.
“We cannot release him. There is no possibility of political solution. You can’t be in another country and be throwing up incorrect security and economic details and not be accountable for it.”
The President said he would be willing to sign the amended Electoral Bill he vetoed and returned to the National Assembly if there are choices for political parties to elect their candidates.
“I can’t go against my party. I am not going to support only direct primary, I want people to be given choices because it’s democracy. You can’t dictate and claim to be doing democracy. The three choices are direct, indirect and consensus.”
President Buhari also expressed his reservation to the establishment of state police, insisting that the traditional rulers should be involved in the security of their communities.
Fielding questions on the clamour for restructuring of the country, Buhari called on the agitators to come out and define their definition of restructuring and what they wanted.
He said: “Those who talk on restructuring, I want them to define the concept. Do they want more states, at whose expense?”
On the level of poverty in the land, he said it was unfortunate that only about 2.5 per cent of arable land in Nigeria is cultivated and urged Nigerians to return to farming to stop importation and provide jobs for the teeming youths.
The President added that his government has improved the economy by developing infrastructure – road, rail and power – admitting the fact he was not happy with the state of electricity in the country.