In his first interview since leaving office on May 29, 2023, former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari opened up about his presidency, the challenges of leading Nigeria, and the decisions he made during his tenure.
Speaking with the Nigeria Television Authority ,NTA, Buhari maintained that he did his best during his eight years in office, acknowledging the difficulties of managing a country where people are assertive about their rights.
“Nigerians are extremely difficult. People know their rights. They think they should be there, not you. So, they monitor virtually every step. And you have to struggle day and night to ensure that you are competent enough,” Buhari commented on the challenges of governance.
Responding to questions about the integrity of individuals within his government, Buhari dismissed the criticism, suggesting that it was the problem of those making such accusations. He questioned the actions of those who fiercely criticized him, asking what they had done individually to combat corruption at their levels.
Buhari also addressed the controversial naira redesign policy, stating that he approved it to protect his integrity and to emphasize that there was no shortcut to success in the country. He emphasized the challenges Nigeria faces as an underdeveloped country, where materialism often takes precedence.
“Whether Nigerians believe it or not, we are an underdeveloped country. And in that sort of situation, there’s materialism, and sometimes ruthlessly they didn’t care how they made the money,” Buhari explained. He added that the motivation behind the policy was to make Nigerians believe that there is no shortcut to successful leadership.
Reflecting on his time in office, Buhari highlighted the constant scrutiny and the need to prove competence in managing the diverse and dynamic nation. The former president expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve his country and urged people to judge whether his best was good enough for the challenges faced during his tenure.