President Muhammadu Buhari says he intends to stay as far away as possible from Abuja, the nation’s capital city, when he leaves office on May 29, 2023.
Speaking on Sunday while hosting the federal capital territory (FCT) residents on Christmas homage, the president said he made the decision to stay away to avoid problems.
The visit was led by Mohammed Bello, minister of the FCT.
Buhari is to hand over to another elected president after the elections in 2023. He has served for two successive terms.
Reiterating his plans, the president said he intends to retire to his hometown in Daura, Katsina state.
“Thank you very much for taking the time to come and visit me and I congratulate you on this great day (Christmas),” Buhari said.
“I have promised a lot of my colleagues that I will try and be as far away as possible from Abuja when I leave office so that nobody can create any problem for me anymore.
“I will be in Daura, which is on the border with the Niger Republic, and I think in spite of technology, I will be safe enough there.”
He further extended his appreciation to Nigerians for trusting, supporting, and allowing him to serve as their leader.
According to the president, while campaigning for the position in 2003, he took his time to visit the 774 local government areas of the country and got overwhelming support from the people.
“I thank God that before the 2019 elections, I went around the whole of the states from 2003 to 2011. I went to all the local governments in this country and I thank Nigerians. The people who turned up in every local government were more than what anyone could buy,” he added.
“So, I was pleased with the way Nigerians highly treated me and accepted me. In five months, I will happily retire according to the provisions of the constitution of the country and go back home.”
Speaking on behalf of the delegates, Bello said it has become mandatory for a delegation of residents of the territory to pay homage to the president during festivities like Christmas and Sallah because he is the governor-general of the FCT.
“It is not surprising to pay such visits because constitutionally, as the governor-general of the FCT, you are also the head of the administration of the FCT but you have graciously delegated that to me. Today marks a milestone for us because in 2020 and 2021 we could not pay such visits due to the emergence of coronavirus,” the minister said.
“This also presents the last Christmas that we are going to have an opportunity as residents of the FCT to come and pay you homage because in five months, your tenure would have ended and the next Christmas will be under a new president.
“So, we use this opportunity to thank God almighty for having made it possible for us to witness several Christmas celebrations under your leadership.
“I also, on behalf of the entire residents of the FCT, wish you well and pray for God almighty to grant you long life, and a useful and healthy retirement in the next few months. We want to also extend our appreciation for what you have so far done for the country.”
On his part, Daniel Okoh, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, thanked God for sustaining Nigeria’s unity, as he praised Buhari for working hard for the progress of Nigeria.