President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented over the difficulty in running the government, especially with regard to appointments of Nigerians into the vital organs of the government.
He said that despite that he has all along been appointing people that were competent with much attempt to spread such appointments to cover the geographical zones of the country, both Muslims and Christians have accused him of bias.
Receiving leaders of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, Monday, was amused with the complaints that Muslims had been marginalized in appointments to government institutions such as the military and the civil service.
The President said that this had illustrated how difficult his job has been because he faced the same criticism from adherents of other faiths.
“I am in a difficult situation.”
Buhari admitted that he could be accused, rightly or wrongly of other things but not of stealing public funds and property.
“You cannot accuse me of stealing. I have appointed ministers and they are in charge. I appeal to their integrity. When they come here (Federal Executive Council) Chambers, we ensure they follow the due process. If I owned an oil well, I would have gone to jail.
“I am satisfied with what I am. I am happy I have kept myself and people close to me from benefiting from government contracts.”
The President said that he never awarded contracts and never cared about who got them as long as they did a good job at a cost that is justifiable to the nation.
“I have been in many places including (Ministry of) Petroleum. I would have gone to jail if I had taken an oil well. For integrity and honesty, I have no regrets. By this, I have contributed to my social safety. I won’t go to jail.”
On the issue of violent conflicts in some parts of country, President Buhari said that he is putting in his best, adding that he had since ordered a massive transfer of officers and men who had stayed three years and above in the troubled State.
The President appealed to the religious leaders to instruct their followers on the importance of possessing their own voters’ cards which he described as a “national entitlement,” and to preach justice to all which is an instituted pillar of Islam.
President Buhari said that he had received what he called “a stiff bill” from the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for the restoration of the dilapidated infrastructure and facilities of federal government-owned radio stations in all states of the federation, promising that something would be done.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Vice-President, Sheikh Hadiyyatullahi Abdulrashid commended President Buhari for accomplishing much of what he promised before his election even as he likened Buhari to the captain of a capsizing ship and the messiah needed by the country.
Sheikh Abdulrashid also spoke about the alleged marginalization of Muslims, violent conflicts between farmers and herders, the problems of drug abuse among youths and the fate of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Kaduna, among other issues.