Abati, who said this in Lagos during a chat with the media, maintained that President Buhari had good intentions for Nigeria and sincerely wants to leave good legacies behind him.
He, however, said that running the federal government of Nigeria was filled with difficulties that were amplified by the rising expectations of the people.
He said that critics should understand that all the rising expectations of the people may not be immediately met and some may not be met at all.
“But, since government is a continuum, progress will be made from one administration to another.
“I’m not going to sit here and criticize President Buhari’s government, because if you go into the arena, you will see it is difficult.
“I can say categorically that it is not easy to run a country, and even more difficult to run a government in Nigeria.
“Every President has good intentions that is one of the things I discovered working with politicians. Politicians want to do well. They want to be liked. They enjoy public attention and they like to win elections.
“So no president will get to the top in Nigeria or anywhere and his intention will be to offend the people or to be remembered negatively. Once they become president, the first thing they begin to think about is legacy. How will they be remembered? That is the highest office in the land there is nothing after that. So when they get there they would want to leave a legacy that they would be remembered for. I have seen that either by interacting with a seating president or a past president.
“And you see our democracy is evolving – you keep learning things. I think one of the early articles I wrote after I left office talks about the lessons we have been learning. Since 1999.and we will continue to learn these lessons in different direction.
“One of the issues with democracy in Nigeria is the issue of rising expectations. People have very high expectations. A government comes in after a while people will start criticizing the government. People immediately react to what they see. It is called optics in government.
“But at the end of the day, all of those expectations may not be immediately met. All of those expectations may not be met. But from one government to the other, we have been seeing that there is progress since 1999. That is something to be cheerful about”, he stated.