Buhari kicks off campaign with launch of unity band

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*Says it’s meant to keep Nigeria united towards 2019 elections

*Expresses concerns over growing threats to unity in the build-up to 2019

*Declares that God has always helped Nigeria remain strong, united after serious challenges

 

By Aaron Ossai

Ahead of November 18, 2018, set aside by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for political parties to formally begin campaigns for the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a wristband which according to him is meant to keep Nigeria united as the 2019 elections draw nearer.

President Buhari is the presidential flag bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in next year’s general elections.

Launching the wristbands at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the President explained that the Buhari Unity Band, BUB is a collection of wristbands which he said was initiated by a Buhari Support Group operating under the aegis of Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria, GOGAN.

While expressing concerns over the growing threats in the country in the build-up to the 2019 general elections, Buhari reiterated that his administration was committed to keeping Nigeria together.

“By the grace of God, we shall remain strong and united, our country has passed through difficult times, on occasions threatening the foundations of our unity, but with the help of God, we have always emerged from each crisis stronger.

“There is no doubt that we still have pockets of issues that question our unity but we are convinced that, with the determination of all Nigerians, we shall remain strong and united.

“The Buhari Unity Band is a visual and token symbol of our resolve to live in unity as one and to preach the message of unity wherever we live.

“Those who subscribe to the unity wristband will be known as Nigerian Unity Ambassadors. You will be building on the legacy of a number of our patriots who have, in the past, sacrificed so much, some even their lives, in defense of our nation”, he stated.

In his remarks at the occasion, the Chairman and National Coordinator of good Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria, GOGAN, Mr. Felix Idiga alleged that there are “malicious” plans by the opposition to cause confusion during the 2019 general elections.

Idiga explained that BUB was initiated to counter the plans of the opposition and promote unity among Nigerians.

Although he did not elaborate on the said plans by the opposition, Idiga condemned what he called “senseless looting” of the country’s resources by the political class adding that in looting the treasury, politicians were usually united and buried their religious and tribal differences.

“When the looters are picked to face the wrath of the law, they cry marginalisation and begin to fan the flames of disunity and unrest in the country”, he alleged.

Speaking on the Buhari Unity Band, BUB, Idiga said Nigerians who wore them believed in the unity of the country, which was promoted by Buhari saying “our ultimate goal is to make all Nigerians peace ambassadors of our country by uniting them with the national outlook for excellence in visual identification symbol.”

“It is a symbol with a loud declaration by Nigerians; a slogan which says, ‘no to united looters, yes to a united Nigeria”, he added.

Among the patrons of GOGAN are the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Arthur Eze and Mr. Mamman Daura.

However, Tinubu who was represented at the event by Senator Kabiru Gaya doubled as the chairman of the occasion.

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