In a recent interview, former President Muhammadu Buhari reflected on his eight-year leadership in Nigeria, asserting that while he did his best during his tenure, he wasn’t certain if his efforts yielded the anticipated results. Admitting that his administration might have been hijacked, he spoke openly for the first time since stepping down from office about six months ago.
During the candid interview, Buhari defended his endorsement of the controversial naira redesign policy, citing his commitment to preserving his integrity and imparting the message to Nigerians that success doesn’t come through shortcuts.
He characterized Nigerians as a challenging populace to govern, attributing their reluctance to adhere to what is right to a belief that they know better than their leaders.
Responding to queries about the integrity of individuals surrounding him during his tenure, Buhari distanced himself from their actions, emphasizing that their choices were their own. While acknowledging the possibility of a cabal, he expressed uncertainty about anyone breaking rules without consequences.
Reflecting on his governance style, he maintained that if given another chance in Nigeria’s current system, he would approach leadership similarly, allowing individuals the autonomy to execute their responsibilities.
Buhari revealed being frequently approached by individuals visiting his home daily and admitted considering leaving the country if not for the border closure. Nonetheless, he expressed contentment with the freedom he now experiences in deciding his daily routine.
Acknowledging his efforts in serving the nation, Buhari humbly left the judgment of his achievements to the people. He emphasized his preoccupation with domestic matters and securing the nation during his presidency.
Addressing criticisms around wealth acquisition, Buhari clarified that he didn’t engage in a race with the affluent class for possessions during his tenure to maintain post-government tranquility.
He highlighted his caution in avoiding traps set by certain individuals, believing they sought to compromise him for personal gain, knowing that such compromises would enable them to exploit the country.
Buhari candidly shared his emotional breakdown after losing the 2011 election, citing his patriotism as the underlying reason.
Discussing the naira policy, he justified his stance, aiming to instill the notion that leadership demands commitment and has no shortcuts, particularly in a developing country.
Concluding the interview, Buhari addressed a few shortcomings during his tenure, noting that providing too much leeway for people to execute their roles might have been an area that needed reconsideration.