-Says agitators are jokers
-Nigeria ready to defy IMF in national interest
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has warned that Nigeria will not
tolerate the revived agitation for Biafra.
He dismissed those canvassing the creation of Biafra from Nigeria
as jokers who are simply toying with the nation’s security.
Buhari in an interview with Al Jazeera television during his recent
visit to Qatar said: “At least two million Nigerians were killed in the
Biafra war. And for somebody to wake up, may be they weren’t
born, looking for Biafra after two millions people were killed, they
are joking with the security of the country. Nigeria won’t tolerate
He said although government could tolerate peaceful pro-Biafran
protests, demand for the creation of Biafra is against the
constitution. Buhari also vowed that Nigeria will not be dictated to
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or any external force in
the way it runs its economy.
Nigeria, according to him, will not kowtow to anyone’s advice that
is not in the best interest of the country.
Told by his interviewer that he was going against the counsel of
the IMF by refusing to devalue the naira, the President retorted:
“Why not! If it is against our national interest, why can’t we go
He threw more light on why he would not consider devaluation of
the naira for now, saying: “countries that play around with their
currencies are countries that have enormous production.
“Their infrastructure is in place. Infrastructure in terms of power,
communication and security are virtually alright. Nigeria virtually
imports everything from rice to toothpicks. Now, if you do not
have the money to import those things, what is the point
devaluing your naira?”
He stressed the need for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) to re-strategise in saving the current crude oil
“OPEC has to work together to save the situation. It has always
been an interesting aspect, if you can produce less and earn more.
We are producing more and earning less. I have never been able
to understand it but the market forces are influenced by a lot of
political decisions, post regional decisions and global decisions and
we have to live by it,” he said.
OPEC as an organization has to be mindful of the economic
conditions in each member country because that would influence
that country’s ability to go along with OPEC’s purported decision.
In Nigeria, we are unable to diversify our economy. Hence, we are
much more disadvantaged by the lower oil prices. OPEC tried to
help us but it is basically our own fault. “
He dismissed suggestion that Nigeria might withdraw from OPEC.
“Under my leadership, Nigeria would not want to withdraw.
Between 1976 and 1979, I served as Petroleum Minister. I very
much value the institution of OPEC and I think Nigeria would make
the necessary moves to remain in OPEC.”
He dismissed criticism that his government has failed in the fight
against Boko Haram.
Buhari said that contrary to what some people say, the capacity of
terror sect to threaten has been greatly reduced and it is not
currently in control of any local government area in the Northeast
as it used to do.