Buhari says you can leave Nigeria if you want

President Buhari says Nigerians who are fed up and want to leave the country, are free to do so.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari was quoted as saying: “You don’t have to be in uniform to be loyal. What I said long ago in 1984 is still valid today. We have no other country but Nigeria. Others who feel they have another country may choose to go. We will stay here and salvage it together.”

According to Adesina, Buhari made the comments while receiving the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants and members of the party from the three senatorial zones of Kwara State at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday, October 22, 2018.

Nigerians have been migrating in droves to "pastures greener" in Europe and the Americas, with living standards, infrastructure and the economy all crumbling back home.

Some of the migrants risk lives and limbs to flee the country through illegal routes in Libya and the Mediterranean. Hundreds of Nigerians drown in the Mediterranean annually while fleeing from poverty back home.

Buhari on illegal immigration

In September 2018, the APC said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is committed to mitigating the migration crisis Nigerians are facing, particularly in Libya and in the Mediterranean Sea.

The party stated this in a statement issued by Mr Yekini Nabena, its National Publicity Secretary in Abuja on Sunday when he reacted to comments made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the issue.

A month earlier, Buhari had urged Nigerians to stop travelling through unsafe channels in their bid to illegally gain access to foreign countries in the search of greener pastures.

The president issued this warning during a joint press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa on Friday, August 31, 2018.

He said, "I'm against my countrymen and women that illegally find their ways to other countries other than Nigeria, but I believe you know that the ECOWAS protocol includes free movement of persons and goods and services.

"But for those going to Europe, we are not, as an administration, agreeing for Nigerians to defy the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean because they feel that there are greener pastures there, whether they've prepared for it or not. We do not support anything illegal and indisciplined.

The president further warned that anyone that embarks on dangerous journeys to travel overseas do so at risks to themselves.

Buhari praises late Tunde Idiagbon

Buhari had fond words for his former deputy, the late Maj. Gen. Tunde Idiagbon (retd.), describing the former Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters from 1983 to 1985, as a rare example of loyalty to the country and to a superior.

“The late Maj.-Gen. Tunde Idiagbon was a very rare example of what loyalty to the fatherland and to a superior should be.

“Tunde was strong, loyal and extremely committed to the cause of positively changing the narrative about Nigeria, which the administration set out to do at that time,” Buhari said.

The president also recalled how Idiagbon, who was on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia when the administration was overthrown in 1985, insisted on returning to the country in the face of the political uncertainty at the time; even after learning that his boss, Buhari, had not been killed in the coup.

Buhari added that Idiagbon rejected the offer from the King of Saudi Arabia to bring members of his (Idiagbon) family from Nigeria to the Kingdom, as he was his guest at that time, opting instead to return to Nigeria to suffer arrest like he (Buhari) did.

Buhari thanked the APC stakeholders in Kwara for the position they had taken to continue to support the party regardless of the outcome of the primaries and assured them that with the unity displayed so far, the APC would form the government in Kwara State after the 2019 elections.

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