President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that Nigeria’ s current challenges are neither fuelled by ethnicity nor religion after he revealed what Southern Nigerians did for him.

According to reports, Buhari made this statement in a speech while receiving members of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group in Abuja.

President Buhari also boasted in the speech that after serving as a governor, minister, head of state, and as a president in his second term, nobody can accuse him of corruption.

Buhari’ s speech titled: “Forget ethnicity, forget religion. We, the people, are the problem of Nigeria”, says President Buhari’ was made available to newsmen by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

According to President Buhari who narrated his struggles to get justice at the courts, owing to disputed results of the 2003, 07, and 011, presidential elections, revealed that people who ruled against him were of his own ethnic stock and religious persuasion, while those who stood up for him were Christians, Igbo men, Southerners, and other ethnic folks.

Buhari’ s full speech below:

” Our problem is not ethnicity or religion, it is ourselves. After my third appearance in the Supreme Court, I came out to speak to those who were present then. I told them that from 2003, I had spent 30 months in court.

” The President of the Court of Appeal, the first port of call for representation by presidential candidates then, was my classmate in secondary school in Katsina. We spent six years in the same class, Justice Umaru Abdullahi.

” My legal head was Chief Mike Ahamba, a Roman Catholic and an Igbo man. When the President of the court decided that we should present our case, my first witness was in the box.

” Ahamba insisted that a letter should be sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission to present the register of constituencies in some of the states to prove that what they announced was falsehood. It was documented.

” When they gave judgment, another Ibo man, the late Justice Nsofor, asked for the reaction from INEC to the letter sent to them. They just dismissed it. He then decided to write a minority judgment. That was after 27 months in court.

” We went to the Supreme Court. Who was the Chief Justice of Nigeria? A Hausa- Fulani like me, from Zaria. The members of the panel went in for about 30 minutes, came back to say they were proceeding on break. They spent three months. When they came back, it didn’ t take them 15 minutes to dismissed us.

” In 2007, who was the CJN? Kutigi. Again, a Muslim from the North; after eight months or so, he dismissed the case.

” Again, in 2011, because I was so persistent, Musdafa, a Fulani man like me, from Jigawa, neighbour to my state, was CJN. He dismissed my case. I’ ve taken you round this to prove that our problem is not ethnicity or religion. It is ourselves.

” I refused to give up; I had tried to wear Agbada after what happened to me in khaki. Something was done to me, because I did something to others. You know it. In the end, I was arrested, sent to detention, and they were given back what they had taken. I was there for three and a quarter years. This is Nigeria. “

” Thank God that over the years, they can’ t accuse me of corruption. And I’ ve been everything; Governor, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Head of State, President and in my second term. “

President Buhari has proved that religious differences and ethnicity is not the cause of Nigeria’s challenges: insecurity, injustice, corruption, perceived marginalization and secessionist campaigns, etc.

Reacting, some anonymous commentators have said that Buhari’s statement which denies that Nigeria’s problem is rooted in ethnicity or religious may hold sway only as far as his litigations and rise to power is concerned.

They point at the emergence of armed Fulani herdsmen who are into land grabbing, kidnapping, banditry, raping and other atrocities with impunity, while taking cover under Buhari’s administration.

On the issue of corruption, critics believe that the president cannot be a fair judge in his own performance evaluation, especially while he is still in office. Even if he is absolved ultimately, what about those around him in the same administration, they ask.

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