The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), says he will uphold the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in pursuing the policies of his regime “whether you call me Baba Go Slow or not”.
Buhari stated this when he received residents of the Federal Capital Territory led by the Minister, Muhammad Bello, during the traditional Christmas Day homage at The presidential Villa, Abuja.
Before receiving the FCT residents, he had earlier on Wednesday with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The VP had presented Christmas gifts, including a card to his boss.
Buhari said his administration would focus on the provision of infrastructure, especially roads, power and railway transport, notwithstanding any criticisms it had faced.
According to him, Nigerians will not care about who is the President or in government so long as they have good infrastructure.
The President said, ‘‘This administration sincerely believes that if you get infrastructure right, most Nigerians will mind their own business. They may not even care who is in government.
‘‘But when you deny them infrastructure, then there is nothing they can do.”
He thanked Nigerians for voting him into office twice, saying it was proof they sympathised with him.
He added, ‘‘But I can assure you that I thank Nigerians very much from the bottom of my heart.
‘‘When I travelled to all the 36 states before the elections, what I personally observed and the number of Nigerians that turned up in every state to see and listen to me, were more than what anybody can pay or force.
‘‘What I saw made me believe that the majority of Nigerians understand and sympathise with me.
“I swore to hold this office by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whether you call me Baba Go Slow or not.
“I will be diligent in serving this country dutifully.”
On the delegation were religious leaders across Christianity and Islam, traditional rulers as well as groups like the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Some of the notable faces were the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, and the Imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Dr Mohammed Kabir.
Speaking earlier, the minister thanked Buhari for the support the FCT had received from his regime since 2015, especially in providing security and infrastructure.
Bello also reviewed 2019, recalling that as of 2018, many people predicted doom for Nigeria.
However, he said the year came and passed with the 2019 general elections conducted and Buhari’s regime inaugurated for a second term.
He spoke further, “We thank God for bringing us this far, we started 2019 with a lot hope and a lot of challenges.
“A year ago when we came, we had elections before us. We were faced with a lot of challenges from within and without from parties that never wished the nation well.
“By the grace of God, campaigns were completed successfully; by the grace of God, inauguration was done successfully; by the grace of God, we celebrated June 12 as our new Democracy Day.
The Minister of Nigeria Delta, Godswill Akpabio, who was also at the Presidential Villa, commended the regime for the cordial relationship it had established with the National Assembly, resulting in the speedy passage of the 2020 budget.