President Muhammadu Buhari says after losing in three elections and pursuing cases up to the Supreme Court, he learnt that ethnicity and religion had no place in Nigerian politics, but personal interests prevailed.
The president made his position known when he received the Governance Support Group at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.
He said: “Some of the things I saw here were unbelievable. I still shudder and wonder how a country can survive under such abuses.
“It is only by an act of God that we survived.
“I want you to maintain your steadfastness. We have gone through the worst of the times. We lost elections three times and I learnt a lot along the way.’’
Buhari, however, told his supporters that he was not oblivious of the personal risks and investments that brought in the All Progressives Congress-led administration.
He cited the appointment of Mr. Boss Mustapha as Secretary to the Government of the Federation as most deserved because of his steadfastness.
Buhari, therefore, maintained that the long-suffering, commitment and sacrifices of all his supporters over the years will be remembered by posterity.
He urged members of the group and all his supporters to remain steadfast in pursuing the overall good of the nation.
According to him, he remains “eternally grateful’’ for all the personal and collective sacrifices that culminated in winning the 2015 elections, assuring them that all the efforts would never be forgotten.
“I can never forget your sacrifices and I am grateful for all. You never gave up when things were bleak, and we needed to survive. I can’t express my gratitude enough.
“In spite of the environment you found yourself, you kept believing and pushing. Some of you were really exposed to risks. My consolation is that you voluntarily threw in your lot with me.
“Some of you exposed yourself so much, and I knew it. I urge you to still stick to your principled ways of doing things and our country will be the better for it,’’ he said.
The President said the administration had ushered in a new era of accountability and responsibility by auditing and correcting the many wrongs of the past that crippled the economy and created an exclusive class.
He therefore promised to consolidate on the reforms he had initiated for change in the country.
The Chairman of the Group, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, commended the President for the bold initiatives in restoring security, tackling corruption and setting the economy on a more predictable path.
Nwajiuba said the group would continue to support and advise the President on areas that needed more attention.
He said such areas would include engagement with party members and supporters, empowerment of Nigerians and the fight against kidnapping.
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