President Buhari of Nigeria recently spoke about his satisfaction with the democratic process in the country during the February 25 and March 18 elections. He recounted how he advised voters to collect money from candidates offering it to them but vote according to their conscience. He expressed his delight at how Nigerians have proved capable of making decisions on who should lead them without being told what to do. He credited this to the chance of a free and fair election as well as non-interference, which has led to the maturity of Nigeria’s democracy.
During a farewell meeting with outgoing US Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, at the State House in Abuja, the President commended her for her achievements in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-a-half years she had been in the country. He also expressed his eagerness to return home and work on his farms, tending to over 300 animals, where he planned to be a “big landlord.”
The American Ambassador also expressed her satisfaction with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-a-half years, specifically citing the recent institution of a five-year visa regime, active collaboration in security, and the supply of military hardware, including warplanes and soon-to-come fighter helicopters. She also mentioned cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and COVID-19, giving assurances that the US will continue to assist in strengthening Nigeria’s health sector.
Ambassador Leonard also commended President Buhari’s strong response against the recent surge of coups-d’état in West Africa and his continuing role in ensuring regional security and strengthening democracy as a system of government.
Overall, President Buhari remarks indicate his satisfaction with the democratic process in Nigeria and his belief in the ability of Nigerians to make their own decisions on who should lead them. The strong partnership between Nigeria and the US in various sectors is also highlighted, with both countries committed to working together for the betterment of their citizens.