President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday the citizens and not the ethnicity or religion are the major cause of the country’s problem.
The President, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this when he received members of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo (MBO) Dynamic Support Group at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Members of the group were in the State House to present a compendium of the Buhari administration’s achievements.
The President recalled his struggles to get justice at the courts after disputed results of the 2003, 2007, and 2011 presidential elections, saying people who ruled against him were from his ethnic stock and religious persuasion.
He, however, observed that those who stood up for him were of other faiths and ethnicity.
President Buhari said: “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 election complaints then, was my classmate in secondary school in Katsina.
“We spent six years in the same class, Justice Umaru Abdullahi.
He said the head of his legal team was Chief Mike Ahamba, a Roman Catholic and an Ibo man.
“Ahamba insisted that a letter should be sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 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 (Justice Nsofor) 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 (CJN)? 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 went for three months. When they came back, it didn’t take them 15 minutes, they dismissed us.
“In 2007, who was the CJN? Kutigi. Again, a Muslim from the North. After eight months or so, he dismissed the case,” he added.
The President said in 2011, because he was so persistent, Justice Dahiru Musdapha, a Fulani man from Jigawa, who was the CJN, dismissed his case.
“I have 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 myself 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,” the President concluded.
Buhari expressed the hope that historians and intellectuals would document the facts as fantastic state of political development.