President Muhammadu Buhari says he is eager to hand over power and go back home to focus on his farms and tend to his cattle in Daura, Katsina state.
Buhari spoke on Tuesday at a farewell meeting with Mary Beth Leonard, the outgoing United States ambassador, at the State House in Abuja.
“I plan to be a big landlord back at home, working on my farms and tending to more than 300 animals. I am eager to go,” he said.
Speaking on the elections, the president said the conduct of the February 25 and March 18 polls have shown that Nigerians have proved to be capable of choosing who leads them without anyone telling them what to do.
He said he was quite impressed with the passion for democracy exhibited by Nigerians which was reflected in the choices they made during the elections.
Buhari said Nigeria’s democracy has truly matured.
“The people are realising their power. Given the chance of a free and fair vote, nobody can tell them what to do,” he said.
“But I am unhappy that some candidates lost in the election. I am inspired by the fact that voters were able to make their own decision, to decide who won and who lost. With the currency change, there was no money to spread around but even then, I told voters to take the money and vote according to their consciences.”
Buhari said he was happy with his own role in the election process by staying above board, without meddlesomeness or any form of interference.
He lauded the outgoing ambassador for the enormous achievements recorded in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half years she had been in the country.
The American ambassador said she was impressed with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations.
She cited the recent institution of a five-year visa regime between the two countries; active collaboration in security and the supply of military hardware including warplanes and the soon-to-come fighter helicopters; and also cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and COVID response.
President Buhari will on May 29 hand over to Bola Tinubu, the president-elect when he might have served his second term of four years.