President Muhammadu Buhari, has for the first time, made a scanty reference to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and called it “abusive’’.
Buhari said he did not want a response to the letter which derided the government and urged Buhari not to seek a second term
“Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo I had wanted Lai not to reply to the letter, but I said I should allow him to highlight the achievements of our administration.’’
Obasanjo wrote a damning letter to President Buhari and touted Coalition for Nigeria Movement which has been launched in Abuja.
The movement was launched at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
The former president in a lengthy and critical public statement on January 23 suggested the formation of the movement and advised Buhari against seeking a second term in office.
But Buhari was in a special interview session with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States on Tuesday morning scantly referred to the letter.
On his purported comment on youth while in London, President Buhari dismissed the report, saying that the media only preferred to interpret and report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.
“ You know Nigeria’s population is now between 180 and 190 million and 60 per cent of this population is youth that is 30 years down ward.
“You know in the North most youths are uneducated or are school dropouts. If not because we had good harvests in the last two farming seasons the situation would have been worsen.
“Even if these youths travel out of the North for greener pasture they hardly make it economically because what they earn as income cannot afford them to meet their basic needs or return home.
“All these explanations I made they refused to highlight them in their report and you know the media in Nigeria in most cases only do what they like.’’
He said, for instance the nation’s achievements in the agricultural sector where millions of Nigerians benefitted financially was left unreported by the media.
Buhari also used the opportunity to debunk the insinuation that Christians were being killed by herdsmen.
He said that clashes between farmers and herdsmen had been existence for the past years, saying that Nigerian herdsmen were not of the habit of carrying dangerous weapons while moving their animals around the country.
Buhari said he approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen in addition to the current strength.
The recruitment is part of measures to address the nation’s security challenges including the clashes between farmers and herders.
Buhari, who is in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump.
He revealed that additional security measures were being put in place to check cases of insecurity in Nigeria.
“We will put in place more measures to check insecurity in country including increasing the number of policemen and train them.
“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 776 local government areas of the federation.
“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 776 they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment exercise.
“I gave (Police authorities) them this directive,’’ he said.
The president, who expressed reservation on the call for the establishment of state police as being advocated by state governors, said Nigerians must abide by constitutional provision in regard to the matter.