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Why I Won’t Name My Successor, Buhari

THOSE expecting President Muhammadu Buhari to anoint them as his successor when he leaves office in 2023 should perish the thought.

The President yesterday foreclosed naming any likely successor, saying that doing so would create problems for him.

He cautioned those nursing presidential ambitions that “nobody should think he can just become a President overnight.”

Buhari spoke when members of the Progressive in Academics (Pro-Acad) visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The group had asked him to start grooming a youth who would replace him after the expiration of his second term tenure in four years.

Recalling his three previous failed attempts, he said to become a President takes a lot of hard work.

He said: “Succession, to me, is very funny because if I name anybody, I’ll create more problems for him or her. Let those who want to be president try as much as I did.

“I believe those who are interested need to know that I tried three times and the fourth time I thank God and technology, PVC. Before they announced the result on radio and television, they got the result and they said anybody who disagreed should go to court. Most of my supporters are looking for next day’s meal; they don’t have money to give to lawyers. So, I said God dey!

“So, the fourth time because of technology, they couldn’t rig the elections. So, I won. This time around I tried to work hard.

“So I think you have more to do as intellectuals to make sure you correct Nigeria’s intellectual development, it is very important for the next generation.

“A lot of our young people are taking things for granted. Imagine, to contest elections three times and end up in the Supreme Court, it takes a lot of conviction and hard work. But people take things for granted; they say I want to be the president. As if I just closed and opened my eyes and I got it.”

Speaking on the issue of education and the Al-majiri in the country, the President said: “People have gravely been criticizing the Federal Government for the Al -majiri but that is the responsibility of state governments which means state governments are not doing their jobs. People don’t seem to care about what the constitution have done.

“Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for progress; they decided not to go back to the dark days of impunity and corruption. Education remains a top priority for our government.

“In the last four years, we injected over N1 trillion into education through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and our needs assessment interventions.

“We also released N25 billion to public universities to pay earned academic allowances to lecturers. Of course, you are all aware of the rot we uncovered at JAMB and many other institutions.

“Our home grown school feeding programme covering more than ten million children couple with our social investment initiative has encouraged many parents to send their children to school and also pay for more teachers in classrooms.”

The President said that in the next four years, his administration will continue with the work to transform the sector bearing in mind the high population growth rate, financial challenges and security issues especially those grossly affected areas.

“Simply put our focus and agenda can only be sustained if we have educated and secured society.

“Therefore, we have no choice but produce more engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and the teachers. To achieve this, we shall continue to seek your advice and guidance. I am pleased to note some of the ideas you proposed, this submission is timely as we prepare for the next level.”

Pro-Acad Convener Bolariwa Bolaji had earlier spoke of the need to accredit secondary and primary schools in the country to address infrastructural deficiencies.

Dr. Bolaji urged the President to take steps towards taking Al-majiri off the streets.

The group also called for redenomination of the Nigerian currency to strengthen the naira.

It also urged the President to revoke the oil well licences issued to individuals and re-issue such to state governments.