President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said he has done his best for Nigeria, calling on his successor from the upcoming 2023 elections to make Nigeria one of the leading countries “by the end of this century.”
“I welcome and accept both the accolades and criticisms in equal measure, secure in the conviction that I did my best to serve our dear country Nigeria and I pray that the next President will also pick up the baton and continue the race to make Nigeria one of the leading countries of the world by the end of this century,” Mr Buhari said.
The president made this statement in his last New Year message in office on Saturday. However, Mr Buhari had last week Friday admitted that his good was not enough.
“I wonder if I am going to miss much. I think I’m being harassed. I believe I’m trying my best but still my best is not good enough,” Mr Buhari said in a documentary at a dinner organised to mark his 80th birthday in Abuja.
Also, in October, first lady Aisha Buhari apolosied to Nigerians on behalf of her husband.
“The expectations on us were so high, and maybe after seven years, we haven’t met their expectations. Only God knows what is in somebody’s mind,” Mrs Buhari told BBC Pidgin in an interview.
However, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had on several occasions claimed that the achievements of Mr Buhari will leave many Nigerians, especially critics of the regime, “breathless.”
Nigerians have witnessed gross human rights abuses, state-sponsored massacres and disappearances and also clampdown on protesters under the Buhari regime.
The Buhari regime continues to detain former National Security adviser, Dasuki Sambo, and the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, in spite of court orders granting them bail.
In 2015, shortly after Mr Buhari assumed office, over 348 members of Shiites Islamic group were massacred and buried in a mass grave by the military. Though a judicial panel indicted the Nigerian Army, over six years after the incident, no one has been prosecuted.
Similarly in 2016, Amnesty International reported how Nigerian security operatives killed 150 pro-Biafra unamred protesters.
The nationwide EndSARS protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian police, was destabilised as state-sponsored thugs unleashed mayhem on protesters under the supervision of the police.
It was made worse when on October 2020, the Nigerian Army opened live rounds on peaceful EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, killing about 10.
A judicial panel set up by Lagos State to investigate the Lekki Massacre indicted the Nigerian army for using force on the protesters. The panel recommended the dismissal of officers who participated in the massacre and compensation of victims of the massacre.
However, the recommendations of the panel were ignored by both the Lagos State government and the Buhari-led regime, denying the October 20, 2020 massacre.