President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigerians who felt the need to leave the country due to the current challenges were free to go.
The President took this position 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.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, however, quoted Buhari as saying he and others who did not have another country would rather stay back and salvage it together even as he enjoined Nigerians to remain faithful and loyal to the country in all their dealings.
He said, “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.”
Buhari paid tribute to his former deputy, the late Maj. Gen. Tunde Idiagbon (retd.), for what he described as his rare example of loyalty to the country and to a superior and urged Nigerians to emulate him.
“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,” he said.
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The President also recalled how his former deputy, who, while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia when the administration was overthrown in 1985, insisted on returning to the country despite the political uncertainty especially as he had learnt that he, as Commander-in-Chief at that time, had not been killed in the coup.
He added that the late 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, and eventually returned to Nigeria to suffer arrest like he (Buhari) did.