By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is slow in fighting corruption because the system is slow.
The president said this when he received the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) community, who paid him Christmas homage, at his official residence on Tuesday in Abuja.
President Buhari, who apparently was reacting to those allegedly accusing his administration of being too slow in tackling the nation’s challenges, including `endemic corruption’ in the society, said: “It’s not Baba (Buhari) that is slow but it is the system.
“So, I am going by this system and I hope we will make it.”
The president announced that he would soon embark on aggressive campaign for the 2019 Presidential election, saying that the campaign will start by visits to each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
According to him, the three areas of focus with which he campaigned in 2015 are still very relevant today, adding that he will continue to focus on the fight against corruption, tackling insecurity and improving the economy.
“We are watching the Independent National Electoral Commission very seriously and we are going out very soon; we will go from geo-political zone to geo-political zone, to remind the people of our promises in 2015.
“These three fundamental things include security, because you have to secure the country before you can govern it and talking about what we have done regarding securing the country, the people of the North-east know better.
“The three fundamental things we campaigned with are still very relevant.
“On improving the economy, which we are still going to explore, we have done well in agriculture and those who embraced farming are not regretting it.
“We have also addressed unemployment and, we are very lucky, through that we are now attaining food security.
“The third thing with which we will campaign is the issue of corruption.
“I told you what I did when I was in uniform but now when I have to go by this system (Democracy,) where people have to be arrested and then prosecuted, taken to court and then with evidence.
“We will collect back what they had taken illegally and for doing that, people are calling me Baba go slow.
“I am going slowly but whatever the case, I will not stop pointing fingers at those who have abused trust by taking money that does not belong to them.
“I will keep on trying to do my best for this country and get back what belongs to the country.’’
He reiterated the determination of his administration to continue to repair the roads and revive the railway and electricity with the little resources at its disposal.
The President, who thanked the FCT community for the visit, urged people in leadership positions to always do the right things so as not to betray the confidence reposed in them.
Earlier, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammed Bello, expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the Buhari administration in the last three and a half years.
He said inhabitants of the FCT had resolved to reward the president for the achievements recorded with massive votes during the forthcoming general elections in 2019.
The minister said: “We pray that God almighty continues to grant you good health, strength, capacity, ability and patience to continue to lead us to the Promised Land.
“On behalf of the FCT, we appreciate you for the good works you are doing for the territory.
“Just last week, you commissioned for us a new airport terminal and so many road projects that are ongoing in Abuja.
“We feel highly delighted to be hosting you here and it’s my honour.
“I want to assure you that we are solidly behind you and by the grace of God we look forward to you spending another four years in the State House so that you can truly make Abuja the city of our dream.
“This is because we want Abuja to be among the 20 best cities in the world in the next few years and I think that is possible.’’
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh congratulated the President for overcoming his health challenges.
According to him, the spirit of unity among followers of different religions in the Federal Capital Territory is exemplary and should be replicated in all parts of the country.
He gave assurance that religious leaders across the country would continue to work for harmony to sustain peace in the country.