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I know I have offended you, please forgive me--Buhari pleads

 I know I have offended you, please forgive me--Buhari pleads PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded for forgiveness from Nigerians as he ro...

 I know I have offended you, please forgive me--Buhari pleads

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded for forgiveness from Nigerians as he rounds off his tenure in office.

The President begged for forgiveness in a Sallah message he delivered on Friday, April 21, while hosting some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who paid him a visit at his residence in the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello, led the visitors.

Buhari said he accepted all the complaints and criticisms directed at him in good faith because they were part of the leadership attributes he asked from God.

“God gave me an incredible opportunity to serve the country. We are all humans. If I have hurt some people along the line of my service to the country, I ask that they pardon me.

“All those that I have hurt, I ask that they pardon me,” the President said during the visit of the FCT residents, according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Buhari thanked Nigerians for the honour given him to serve the nation for two terms (2015-2023) as an elected President.

Though he did not name anyone he offended, The ICIR reports that the President’s administration brought sorrow and suffering to Nigerians.

In December 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.

Many Nigerians took their old notes to the banks, hoping to exchange them for new ones.

For many weeks, people in the country could not get the new notes, which were very scarce in circulation.

In one of its many reports on the hardship the policy brought to Nigerians, The ICIR reported how Nigerians went nude, fought in banks and engaged in other habits that counted as offences when things were normal.

It took a Supreme Court ruling before the CBN released the old notes back into circulation to ease the acute pains faced by the citizens.

The CBN obeyed the Supreme Court ruling ten days after the court gave its judgement.

Buhari authorised the naira redesign policy initiated by the CBN.

Another issue which brought hardship to Nigerians under the President was a series of strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The ICIR reported how ASUU members went on strike for 600 days under Buhari since he became President in 2015. – the longest under any president in the country.

Inflation has reached its highest under the President, causing prices of foods and other basic needs to soar beyond the reach of the poor.

Under the President’s watch, thousands of Nigerian6 have been killed by insurgents. Several children have been orphaned by insurgency, banditry, inter/intra communal conflicts, farmers-herders feuds and related crises.

In 2021 alone, out of the President’s eight years in office, over 10,000 people reportedly died in the country due to insecurity.

Thousands of people are being killed in Kaduna and Benue states by non-state actors, with the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom accusing the President of complacency.

While the government has succeeded in building massive infrastructures, confronting and neutralizing criminals through its security forces, many Nigerians believe it could do more, especially in tackling corruption, which remains rife.

On the economy, local and foreign companies in Nigeria have folded up, and many Nigerians have lost their means of livelihood. In 2022, The ICIR reported how giant industries were silently disappearing under Buhari’s watch.

The ICIR reports that these challenges, and much more, were inherited by Buhari, who rose to power on his vow to tackle them. But the crises remain as he leaves office in less than 40 days.

“With less than 37 days left in office, the President recounted his leadership roles in the country for more than forty years, serving variously as a military officer, military governor, minister, and Head of State, and returning as a democratically elected President in 2015,” the statement released by Adesina on Friday said.

Buhari recounted how he was incarcerated for three years after the coup that ousted him from power in August 1984 and contested elections three times, 2003, 2007 and 2011, without success.

“I dared the politicians and ended up at the Supreme Court three times. They laughed at me, and I responded, ‘God dey’. God sent technology to my rescue with Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC). The fraudulent people became unemployed,” the President was quoted as saying.

He frowned at the flaunting of ethnic and religious cards in elections, as witnessed in the 2023 general elections.

The President reiterated the need for the nation to strengthen its democracy because of its immense gains.

“I have been counting the years. Democracy is good. Otherwise, how can someone come from one end of the country to rule for eight years? My home town, Daura, is about eight kilometres to the Niger Republic.

“When the Minister of Interior wanted to shut down petrol stations ten kilometres from the border, there was a fuel station close to my house, and I pleaded if he could allow it to keep operating,” he added.

The President said he decided to retire to Daura to get some respite after years of work.

“I can’t wait to go home to Daura. If they make any noise to disturb me in Daura, I will leave for the Niger Republic. I deliberately arranged to be as far away as possible. I got what I wanted and will quietly retire to my home town. In spite of technology, it will not be easy to get to Daura,” he said.

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