Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), on Tuesday begged Nigerians to be more patient with President Muhammadu Buhari, saying all would be well very soon.
Speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja after he met with Buhari behind closed doors, Gowon said the president was trying to fix the country and that Nigerians would begin to see the effect very soon.
On the kidnapped Chibok Secondary School girls, the former military ruler said the government needed credible information to work with, adding that at present, no one knew the actual location of the girls.
When asked why he was in the State House, he said: “I have come to see the president, to say hello to him. I haven’t seen him for quite some time. This time I have come to see him to pay my respect to him and to let him know that I’m going out of the country on vacation on my programme on Nigeria Prays in the United Kingdom and the United States towards the end of this month, and early next month. So I have come to let him know that I would be out of the country,” in case he wants me, he knows that I’m out and he is going to pay my way back, if he wants me back for any programmes.
“Of course we discussed the general affairs of the country, the problems of the country; his fight against corruption and all the efforts that he is making to deal with it and of course, the impatience of the public to see results of the fight which have yet to be found, since people have not been prosecuted yet, which would soon begin.”
Gowon said he appreciated Buhari’s efforts and determination to rid the country of corruption, which he said had been one of the problems holding he country down and creating serious set backs for the country both nationally and internationally.
He said: “Of course, we also discussed the current situation about the Chibok girls and the efforts the government is making to rescue them.”
The former leader said the government needed to get credible information about the whereabouts of the girls and also those that would assist the government achieve that.
Gowon said: “I believe that the government is certainly determined to ensure that a number of these girls are brought back home safely as soon as possible. To achieve that, certain credibility must be established of our sources on information on their location, but at present, no one knows where these girls are, and all these information that you have been getting, I don’t know their sources, but all efforts at engaging the international media and sources are necessary so that this matter can be resolved once and for all.
“Again, we talked generally on the country and efforts the government is making to give the people what they want and to see that they have money, but please remember we used to sell petroleum at $ 150 per barrel, but what is it today? It’s merely around $ 30 per barrel and the amount of crude oil we used to produce thrn was over two million and now it has gone down to about one million because of the problem we have been having when people have been blowing pipelines in the Niger Delta area.
So we have problem and there isn’t enough money to go round. So very soon, with the efforts the government is making to get things back to normal, making contacts with the Avengers and other aggrieved militants in the Niger Delta who are creating havoc there, we hope that all will be well soon.”