As preparations for the 2019 general elections enter a crucial stage, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerians outside the nation’s shores will not participate in the elections, explaining that even though their population is significant, it would not be in 2019.
Buhari who spoke in Paris, France yesterday said the population of citizens in various countries across the world already necessitates their inclusion to elect leaders, noting however that it might not happen in the 2019 elections.
According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements of conducting credible elections within the country stressing that it could happen in future.
Speaking further, he added that the Nigerian constitution had taken into cognizance the need for representation in the political structures in order to ensure harmony and development, urging more people to pick interest in governance and quality representation.
On education sector, the President also heaped the dwindling fortune of the education on the door post of Nigerian elites, accusing them of tolerating the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite oil windfalls in the past that would have made all the difference.
Buhari who spoke in an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Paris, on the sideline of the Paris Peace Forum, President Buhari said that about five per cent allocations to the education sector was inadequate to propel the desired growth for the economy, pointing out that United Nations target of 26 per cent remains ideal.
President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, assured Nigerians that allocations to the educational sector will be improved as revenue increases, describing the sector as a major engine for the development of any country.
“We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education”, he added.
He therefore enjoined Nigerian elites, both at home and in the Diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite oil windfalls.
“I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country,’’ he said. “ We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries’’, he lamented.
President Buhari said return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians .
The President said the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military, while the challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.
“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he added.
In her remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Enitan Irele, said the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality, adding that the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.