President Muhammadu Buhari has said the democratic process is slowing down his Administration’s anti-graft war.
Buhari said this on Tuesday when senior aides in his Administration, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja in commemoration of his 77th birthday.
The President, who spoke with newsmen who asked him to compare his experience as Military Head of State between December 31,1983 and August 1985 and now in a democratic setting, said: “Well, like I said, I have learned in the hard way.
“When I came in uniform, I collected those who were leading, took them to Kirikiri (Prison) and told them they were guilty until they could prove themselves innocent.
“I put, based on almost all the geopolitical zones, committees to investigate them.
“Those that were found to have lived beyond their means, the balance was taken and given to the states.
“But I myself was arrested, detained and they were given back what they had stolen.
“So, this system, which is supposed to be more accountable, is too slow for my liking, but I have to follow it.”
President Buhari said he has accepted the fact that no matter how hard he tried, some people would find faults in his government, adding that for the 2023 elections, no one should use his name to campaign.
“What I want to promise Nigerians that I will work very hard on is free and fair election.
“All those that are going to succeed in the National Assembly and the Presidency, they better work very hard because I will make sure, using the law enforcement agencies that elections are free and fair, nobody uses his office or his resources to force himself on his constituency.”
On how he felt at 77, Buhari said: “Well I think I feel well at 77.
“A lot of those at 77 are on crutches and I am walking on my two feet.
“I think I come to accept the realities of leadership in Nigeria, you can only try, it is a terrific country, no matter what you do, there are people on daily basis that look for your faults and go to the press, so you have to learn to live by that.”