President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said despite the people of the Federal Capital Territory rejecting him by voting for Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar in the February 23 presidential poll, he would secure the territory, being the President.
Buhari jokingly said this when a delegation from the FCT paid him a Sallah homage at the Presidential Villa.
He said he must secure the FCT because its security also meant his own security and that of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The delegation led by the Federal Capital Development Authority’s Permanent Secretary, Christian Ohaa, comprised National Assembly members, religious leaders, heads of security agencies and civil servants.
The President praised Osinbajo, who he described as a reliable hand in his administration.
Buhari said, “I want to appreciate the number two man of the country because he knows what we are going through very quietly. I am very pleased that you came with this very powerful constituency.
“I appeal to you to remain exemplary so that those under you will know that the country is doing very well. If you break down and complain, the impact will reverberate all over and then government will not be popular and whatever efforts we are making will not be appreciated.
“I have just spoken to the Senator (Philip Aduda) on my left and I told him that his constituency did not vote for me. So, I was very pleased that when they made the arrangement, they put him very far away from me. I have all the results of all constituencies.
“I am not threatening FCT because to make FCT secure is to make myself secure and the Vice-President. I think they know that they are necessary evil, that was why they decided to vote for the PDP.”
The President took his guests down the memory lane, recounting how he started the race for the presidency in 2003 before finally winning the seat in 2015.
Buhari said, “During my long journey to this place, 2003, 2007, 2011, those were interesting political developments that enabled me to visit all the local governments; all 774 local governments. First port of call whenever I visited any local government was to visit the community leader for understanding and support. I am very pleased that Nigerians understood me that although I was a governor, minister of petroleum and a one-time Head of State, I didn’t have a lot of money to give. So, when I went round, I smiled and greeted them and I think it has helped. Because by the time I went to campaign for my second and last terms constitutionally, I visited all the states this time round, sometimes two states in a day; I thank God for giving me the stamina to do it.”
Osinbajo praised Buhari for successfully concluding the Ramadan fast.
He also said the combination of Muslims and Christians that made up the delegation had shown Nigeria’s diversity and unity.
The VP said, “I want to say that God Almighty has been extremely good to you and to our government. I recall about two years ago when I had to host this particular event because you were away on medical leave at the time.
“But God has been so good, not only did He bring you back healthier than when you left, but has also been gracious enough for you to have a second opportunity to lead our great country. I thank the Almighty God for you and for all of us who have been a part of your government and who have been a part of what God has done in our midst.