President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday invoked the wrath of God on those who looted the nation’s economy.
He expressed regrets that some people squandered the nation’s enormous wealth without providing basic facilities, such as water, electricity and good roads.
President Buhari spoke at the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi 11’s palace during his two-day visit to Kano.
The President also pardoned 500 inmates of Kurmawa Prison who got cash donations to start a new life and said the gesture was part of his administration’s effort to decongest the prisons.
“From 1999 to 2014, the wealth of this country was lavishly squandered by those in the position of authority. Those who have looted the treasury will best be judged by God.”
President Buhari also told the Emir of Kano that he had seen a lot since he joined politics in 2003, adding that “As a politician, I really tasted the pains of seeking elective office.
“Since I joined politics in 2003, I contested for president three times but I could not get it right until the fourth attempt in 2015. I was in court for 30 months, challenging the 2007 election and in 2011, I also spent 16 months in court.”
He urged Nigerians to understand the difference between military and democratic dispensations, saying: “When I was the military head of state, I arrested many people and jailed them for alleged corruption and in the end, I also ended in jail.”
The President added that “it is not easy for us to surmount all the obstacles against us; but knowing that the road to a promised land appeared rough, but all I want from Nigerians is to be patient that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.”
Buhari recalled his sustained cordial relationship with Kano emirate council, saying the Emirate contributed tremendously to his life, “Kano emirate council has contributed a lot to my life. Whatever I became in my life, I always consult the Kano emirate council.”
At the Prison, he said: “I am pleased with this visit and I have learnt a bit more about the conditions of the prisons and inmates.
“This building in front of us was built since 1910. Rehabilitation of prisoners and training of inmates is very important to us and we would continue to invest more on this.
“I asked one of the inmates (released) how old he was and he told me he is only 19 years old.
“If we have people of 18 and 19 years in the prison, and there is no continuous training, then their lives will be completely destroyed. We will invest more in education and vocational training,’’ he said.
The 500 inmates granted pardon, including men and women, were drawn from various prisons in Kano State, including Kurmawa Prisons, which has 1,398 inmates as opposed to 750, the established capacity.
On security, Buhari said his administration had recorded significant success in crushing the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and restoring peace and harmony in the region and other parts of the country.
President Buhari added that the North was important to the country, saying “if there is peace and stability in the North, there will be peace and stability in the whole country and if there is a problem in the region it will affect the entire country.”
The Emir of Kano said the palace was happy to receive President Buhari who he described as a Kano indigene.
“We are welcoming the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to Kano, even though as he spoke earlier that the Palace is his home and Kano is his hometown because of the number of votes he got from Kano during the last election.
“At all times he contested for the presidency, the people of Kano always voted for him massively. When it was perceived that he was defeated at those contests, Kano people still stood by him and voted for him, even though in Kano, they he that won and he won. The people of Kano are promising people. We are praying for you.
“May God give you good health; may the God almighty see you through. All Nigerians have seen the rapid development that is being witnessed in your administration, especially on security and particularly on the fight against corruption. We also witness your tremendous effort in reviving agriculture, education and power with the recession the world is witnessing. We shall continue to pray, we shall continue to give our own advice.
Host Governor Abdullahi Ganduje renamed the Gingiyu Specialist Hospital as Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital.
He said the hospital was named after President Buhari because of his selfless and pragmatic leadership style which has earned him international acceptance, particularly, his fight against corruption.
He said the two hospitals inaugurated by the President were abandoned for over 10 years, but were completed by his administration at N8 billion, with state-of-the-art equipment. Ganduje noted that the hospitals would stop health tourism abroad.
President Buhari was received by a huge crowd which followed his convoy from Malam Aminu International Airport to all the places he visited, chanting “sai Buhari, sai Ganduje”. People lined up the streets waving at Buhari’s long convoy.
The President inaugurated two general Hospitals, Panshekara/ Madobi Underpass, CBN Quarters Road, inspected 2000 affordable housing unit under construction and laid the foundation of the the Kano Economic City, among others.
At the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist hospital, the President said: “The commissioning of this hospital is meant for Nigerians and I am happy that am seeing how our government of APC is bringing change faster to the people that voted us into power. This hospital, the first of its kind in the region, is a true reflection of what our government is all about.
Before returning to Abuja, the President will inspect the Fullmark Rice Mill Company at Kwanar Gunduwawa, and Gezawa Oil Mill, the largest oil mill in Africa at Tokarawa Industrial Estate, both on Hadeja Road.
Buhari is expected to meet with the Ulamas and hold an interactive session with community leaders and politicians before returning to Abuja.