…Says I Seek to be Remembered for Enthroning Democratic System of Governance
…As Former PDP Member, We Shared Money Freely—Amaechi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, adjudicated some of his responsibilities as the All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Council chairman to national leader of the party, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, hinging it on administrative business which he has to fully oversee for the country.
Buhari who inaugurated the party’s campaign council on Monday, however spelt out specific roles and responsibilities of other members of the council, placing the Director General of the presidential campaign council, Rotimi Amaechi in charge of overall responsibility for all aspects of the campaign, including field operations.
He said the Secretary will be responsible for all administrative and treasury-related activities of the council.
“Even though we have only 40 days, this campaign is going to task us all, because we intend to touch all corners of our great and vast country. But I must also add that, though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil,” Buhari openly declared at the brief event.
The presidency had previously said its campaign activities will be low keyed, with Akwa Ibom being the only south south state the party has taken its campaigns to.
Buhari who had previously vowed to hinge his campaign on issues, however seized the inauguration to take a swipe on the opposition.
He said his government was gradually changing the tide from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust willfully took for themselves what belongs to us all.
According to him, the opposition took the security of Nigerian citizens as second option while they concentrated on acquisition of unwholesome wealth; sacrificing economic growth for the fleeting ease of import dependency.
He said, “We have in the last 3 years and 6 months reversed this downward slide that the PDP took us in its 16 years of misrule. We have restored the territorial integrity of our nation, thanks to our gallant men and women of our armed forces.
“We are systematically engaged in all the remaining corridors of insurgency, kidnappings, robberies, herdsmen and farmers clashes. We have reset our national values: corruption is no longer condoned and is no longer seen as normal for public office holders.
“The agencies of government are no longer equivocal in dealing with anyone who flouts our laws. The high and low are receiving jail terms, loots are being recovered, and Nigerians are increasingly displaying the timeless values of honesty, honour and decency. I congratulate us all for making these changes possible”.
The President indirectly gave himself a pat on the back, acknowledging that under his watch, the quality of elections since 2015 has continued to improve with declining levels of problems that have defined elections in the past.
He reiterated his commitment to free, fair and credible elections come 2019, saying it remains sacrosanct to instilling a culture of political stability and peace in any nation.
“We have insisted that votes must count and have maintained a policy of non-interference in elections. INEC has so far since 2015, conducted fair and credible elections in 195 constituencies nationwide, which have been attested nationwide to be qualitatively better than previous elections.
“Let me reiterate my commitment to free and fair elections. If there is one legacy I want to leave is the enthronement of democracy as a system of government. And for democracy to be enthroned, elections must be free and fair. That means citizens have a right to vote for candidates of their choice without intimidation in any form. I have warned INEC and security agencies to that effect
“We will keep insisting that votes must count. Our campaigns will be anchored on our performance in the last four years. There is no doubt that our party has succeeded in taking Nigeria to a new level of enduring peace, economic growth political stability, justice and progress. This is the new level we are promising Nigerians, the details of which we will take to Nigerians as we embark on our campaigns”.
Buhari recalled some of the events that guaranteed him victory in 2015, noting that Nigerians voted us into power because they put trust and confidence that we will make a great difference.
He said his party, the APC was now consolidating on the experience of the successful outing in the 2015 elections.
“It is my hope that this wonderful team put together will anchor our campaigns to lead our party and its candidates to victory in the general elections in a few weeks’ time
“Our economy has become a prudently managed enterprise. Our resources are now working for us, as we ensure the delivery of key national infrastructure, which were left unattended over these past years, the direct impact of our policies on improvements in roads railways, and power supply are evident.
“There is greater evidence of economic diversification seen in growing local production of agricultural produce and solid minerals. Our government has succeeded in the last four years in halting national drift, removing the shadow of insecurity and fear dominating our life and reviving our economy from decline to stability and growth.
“The macroeconomic health of our economy, indicated by several measurable factors such as a stable exchange rate, lower inflation, growing foreign reserves, has been applauded by independent local and international rating agencies, ”he told the council members.
Earlier, the campaign DG, Amaechi said there is no longer stealing since the ruling party came on board but stressed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which he was a member then, will not have peace until they returned all the stolen funds in their 16 years misrule.
“We are no longer stealing money. PDP stole the money meant to feed Nigerians and until they return it, they will not have peace.
“PDP has nothing to say to Nigerians. Our campaign are going to be issues based. We are determined to save Nigerians.
“The President said he will fight corruption that he is doing. The promised to create employment, improve the economy. We met a tattered economy that if we did nothing Nigeria will be at a mess but today the economy has been growing.
“In fixing the economy we promised infrastructural development. When I took over as Minister of Transportation, GE approached me and said we have approached different governments for 11 years to allow us take over rail with our own money but nobody agreed, this government agreed. Before March we will sign a formal agreement of concession to a consortium that will take over the entire narrow gauge and run it.
“The change that we promise we cannot complete in four years, anybody that says we can do so in four years must be a magician. What we are pleading with Nigerians for is another four years to consolidate on what we have started.
“We assure Nigerians that by the end of our next four years it will be different from the kind of 16 years that the PDP brought.
“I was in the PDP, the slogan was share the money but here we are not sharing money. And because we are not sharing money they are saying vote buying. Because they ran election with government money, eating, buying cars with government money and nobody cared. This is a government and a party that cares and in another four years when Nigerians see public funds they will work pass.
“I appeal to Nigerians don’t give one vote to the PDP, they are hungry, they can’t stand poverty, they can’t stand not touching government money. Where money is given for prayers in Nigeria, I can pray in my church nobody is giving me money to go and pray.
“So as a team we must pass this message of the things we have done in government and the result is there for all to see that is why I personally supervise the rail project in my ministry because we want to take a ride before the elections.
“So we must pass that message that we are not only talking about corruption but we are talking about what we have done that is different from PDP. What makes us different from the PDP is that we are not stealing public funds and the moment you pass this message one, we will win the elections.”