The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said he will not miss the Aso Rock Villa much due to constant harassment from some Nigerians, who have belittled his efforts to make the country better.
He also said despite much effort on his part, his best did not seem to be enough.
“I wonder if I am going to miss much. I think I’m being harassed. I believe I’m trying my best, but still my best is not good enough. Because there are people around that think that they can intimidate me to get what they want instead of going through certain systems to earn whatever they want to earn. And they are some people who want to be clever,” Buhari said in a documentary played at a private dinner organised by his family and close associates to mark his 80th birthday on Friday at the State House Banquet Hall.
Buhari also described as “not a funny joke” claims by some Nigerians who presumed him to be long dead and replaced by a body double named ‘Jibril of Sudan’.
The President said the dark rumour was the handiwork of some mischief makers, who thrive on what they do not understand.
Buhari responded to a question about the rumour thus, “Yes! People said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves.”
Asked if he finds such allusions to be funny, he said, “No. It is not funny because those who made those statements just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main issue. Our main issue is to do the infrastructure and make people aware that they need to work hard to live well. They just want to enjoy life without earning the respect of their community and so on.”
Going personal, the President revealed that he lost two of his children by his late wife to sickle cell anaemia. This explained why, at the time he married the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, he insisted that her genotype must be ‘AA’ so that his children would not inherit the ‘S’ from his ‘AS’ genotype.
While proposing a toast to the celebrant, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described Buhari as a forthright, kind man and an exemplary leader.
Citing the President’s “sense of humour,” Osinbajo said Buhari would make a good entertainer post presidency.
He recalled how the President used jokes to calm him down and overruled his intention to submit a letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against him.