President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will seek a re-election because Nigerians “appreciate what his government is doing.”
His Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Femi Adesina told media that the president told the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby, in London when he visited him, that he had to make his intention known in the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held on Monday because people were talking so much on whether he would run or not.
Buhari was in London on Wednesday on a state tour.
“I declared before leaving home because Nigerians were talking too much about whether I would run or not. So, I felt I should break the ice. We have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and many others.
“We needed to concentrate on them, and politics should not be a distraction. The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting,” he was quoted as saying.
The statement said the president recounted some successes of his administration to Welby, whom he said he had built a deep friendship with in recent times.
Adesina said in the statement that the president told the archbishop that his administration would focus on issues such as security, agriculture and anti-corruption. He added that the President was quite particular about strides in agriculture.
“We have cut the importation of rice by about 90 per cent, saving billions of dollars in the process. People who rushed into petrol money have now gone back to agriculture.
“Even professionals have gone back to the land. Nigeria should be able to feed itself comfortably soon. I am so pleased,” the president was further quoted.
On war against insurgency, Adesina said his principal stressed the need for continuous education of the people, “so that they can be free from religious manipulation,” noting that no true religion advocates the hurting or killing of the innocent.”
Meanwhile, Buhari is to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on April 30, the White House said on Sunday.
The meeting comes weeks after Rex Tillerson, then U.S. secretary of state, visited Nigeria and other African countries in March only to be fired after his return to Washington.
Tillerson’s trip was part of attempts to smooth relations after Trump reportedly dismissed some African nations as “shithole countries” in January. Trump later denied making the comment.
“President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The priorities include “promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region”, she said.