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Buhari to Nigerians: Choose between stomach and real infrastructure

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President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians that as they go into Saturday’s election, they have a choice to make between returning to the “discredited” stomach infrastructure of the past and real infrastructure.

In a national broadcast ostensibly to canvass for votes in the election, he advised Nigerians to reflect on whether those wanting to replace his government can do better than what the administration has done.

He averred that countries that aspire for greatness must spend on critical infrastructure rather than stomach infrastructure.

The president said: “There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure.”

“Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.”

He further stated: “I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.”

“In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.”

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“If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.”

“Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.”

“February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of Change.”

“The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.”

The president reassured that his administration will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.

According to him, it was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for his government to emerge, despite the fact that it was contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.

He, therefore, urged citizens to come out to fulfil the important obligation they have to themselves and their future.

Buhari stated: “Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday (Wednesday), I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.”

In an apparent reference to the statement by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state that foreign observers who interfere with Nigeria’s election will go back in body bags, the President distance himself, saying: “I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection.

“Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

“As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I, therefore, urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections.”

“This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.”

“At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to invite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear to lose the elections.”

The president, who reeled out his administration’s achievements in the last three and half years, added: “When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of Change.

“We committed ourselves to improve security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.

“Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.”

“We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.”

“The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.”

“The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.”

The post Buhari to Nigerians: Choose between stomach and real infrastructure appeared first on Tribune Online.

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