The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has expressed what could have happened to the opposition during the 2019 general election if he had wanted.
Speaking at a meeting with North-East governors on Monday, Buhari said he could have used military, police, and other security agencies to overrun opposition states in favour of the All Progressive Congress, APC, but that he chose to be impartial in the exercise and also to show Nigerians that the government was humane.
Among the Peoples Democratic Party governors, who attended the meeting at Aso Rock were Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba).
Buhari, who was speaking on the insecurity in the region, remarked that given what his administration inherited in 2015, Nigerians know that it had done its best.
He said, “We have problems with resources and security. You know what we inherited. The people of the North East will appreciate what this administration has done. The general report I am getting, other from the conventional ones from the intelligence sources, is that the Army should do better and this is the truth.
“It is so often coming to me that I have to believe it. I listened to your representation, the governor who is on the hotspot now in the North-East, Adamawa, Bauchi and the rest of them are enjoying peace. I hope they are respecting the sacrifice made by the military.
“I assure you North-East governors, especially the governor of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you and how to secure our country. That is the fundamental responsibility of a government; security. In our party, we recognize this. We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, economy, and fighting corruption.
“Nigerians, we thank God, understood us and they voted for us. In 2019, we went round the whole country, saying the same thing and apologizing for not doing better, but we are doing our best. I think Nigerians believe us and we did our best. It is true that we lost some states as a ruling party in a developing country, which is normal. I am proud of that because we are impartial, that is why as the ruling party, we lost some states. That means we have our own mistakes.
“Some of those that defeated us are sitting here. We know we are a developing country but we respect our country, otherwise, with the use of the army, the police, and the rest of them, we could have overrun you. We just wanted to show that we are humane and we are Nigerians. We will continue to do our best.”