You are here
Home > Buhari's re-election > Buhari wants second term to consolidate gains, says aide

Buhari wants second term to consolidate gains, says aide

Buhari wants second term to consolidate gains, says aide

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo and Eniola Akinkuotu

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari was not involved in corruption and was not desperate for the office he currently occupies.

He said Buhari was interested in second term because he did not want the gains made by his administration from 2015 to be frittered away.

Shehu said this in an article titled, ‘Buhari’s 2019 bid and matters arising.’

The presidential aide said if a corrupt politician won the next election, the country would return to the pre-2015 era.

He said, “An important motivation for President Buhari’s bid for second term is that the gains made from 2015 should not be frittered away.

“Buhari is not involved in corruption and is not desperate for the office. He is among the few leaders we have who are not obsessed with money, cars and homes, but working passionately for the country’s economy, peace and safety.

“If a corrupt politician wins, we will go back to where we were in 2015.

‘‘Many by now have forgotten where we are coming from. The daily bomb blasts in our cities between 2012 and 2015, including the deadly attack on the United Nations office in Abuja, have been forgotten by many.

“The Juma’at Mosque bomb attack on Kano that left 300 dead and the theft of 270 girls in Chibok as they assembled to sit for their final exams, with 113 yet to return, have for many, faded into history.”

Shehu said cabinet meetings were now about how trillions of naira was to be used to provide long delayed infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railway, power, drugs and equipment for hospitals, while grand corruption, by which ministers sat around the table to share money drawn from the treasury, had been ended.

He said the thing about second term in all political climes was that voters must have a practical reason to vote for someone.

Shehu said Buhari had not given anyone an excuse not to choose him, saying his “is an administration that has something for everyone.”

According to the President’s spokesman, while the ruling All Progressives Congress did extremely well in the North during the last general elections to come to power, there are indications that in 2019, it will do in the South, what it did in the North in 2015.

Shehu observed that since Buhari declared his intention to seek second term, all hell had been let loose by “the chaotic, ill-prepared opposition camp.”

He admitted that in democracies around the globe, second terms by incumbents were usually harder to get simply because there was always some kind of anti-incumbency feeling, leading to a loss of faith among those supporters.

“For President Buhari, who won with massive votes in 2015, his major challenge is to do as well as he did, or even better. He came to power with a lot of expectations and Nigerians had, justifiably placed very high hopes on him.

“As we said sometime back, he as a consequence, has become a victim of the tyranny of expectations. The weight of unrealistic expectations has evidently blinded many of the people from seeing the revolutionary changes happening across the nation.

“Nigerians expected him to undo the damage of several decades of mis-governance and naturally, many are already feeling frustrated that he hadn’t done that in three years,” he said.

Shehu also faulted the opposition parties which he claimed could not give a vision of their own on how they will better the lots of Nigerians.

He also noted that the so-called ‘Third Force’ had not been able to get traction since its birth.

Shehu said, “The problem with our opposition is that beyond fault-finding, they are unable to give a vision of their own on how they can make the nation better.

“The so-called ‘Third Force’ has failed to get political traction since it birth. This is understandable, given that they have promised to give the country everything that is new but have so far produced no new faces, no new ways of doing things. Certainly, there is no face that can be called the President of Nigeria.

“For the Peoples Democratic Party, parading itself on the glory of being the largest opposition, the party has not less than 10 leaders acutely ambitious to rule Nigeria. It will take them minimally two to three terms of presidential tenure – that is eight to 12 years to reinvent the party.

“Looking at the entire opposition landscape, it can be said that they cannot be united by ideology, the type that made the pre-2015 opposition fuse into a formidable challenger that pushed an incumbent out of office. There is in no way therefore, they can choose leaders with unanimity.

“What they have taken to is scaremongering by fanning ethnic and religious divisions among the minorities, especially in the Middle Belt where hundreds of innocent citizens are confronted with violent death.”

Shehu said the information at government’s disposal showed that some of the herdsmen-farmers clashes were politically driven.

He also said opposition members were seeing Middle Belt killings as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.

Shehu added, “Today, the government has irrefutable evidence that much as most of these killings are arising from herdsmen-farmers attacks, some of them are driven by politicians.

“The recent arrests by the army in Taraba State point to a clear political sponsorship, and the kingpins, some of whom have been arrested, have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation.

“Others who are being sought have either gone into hiding or they are pulling strings of blackmail to force the hands of government to abandon the search for them.

“It is clear by now that the Middle Belt killings, even if they are not caused by the opposition, are no doubt seen as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.”

Shehu regretted that rather than coming to the table to discuss what had been achieved or not in key areas of policy, the conversation had been limited to the tale of the relationship between farmers and herders.

Sad as the incidents involving farmers and herdsmen were, he wondered what the result would be if half ‘‘the newsprint and airtime devoted to it’’ were used to draw attention to malaria which killed 300,000 Nigerians every year; the 88,000 malnourished children and the 230,000 malnourished, pregnant women in the North-East, a quarter of whom the UNICEF said would most likely not make it.

Buhari more desperate now than ever –PDP

The PDP, however, asked Nigerians to ignore the presidency claims.

It says there were signs to show that the President was more desperate now than ever before.

The spokesperson for the main opposition party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with one of our correspondents,  said the President must explain why he set up a campaign structure even while he was on a foreign trip.

He said, “If he is not desperate, why did he set up a campaign structure so early, and while on a foreign trip?  The President is so desperate now than ever.

“Why is there so much shenanigans in his party? Is it not because of his desperation for power? Why is he releasing list of innocent and prominent Nigerians as looters when he is not a court of law?

“Why is he filing up fake charges against leaders of the opposition and perceived enemies?  Why is he killing voices of the opposition?  He can’t deceive Nigerians again.”

Asked whether the former opposition party actually had a better vision for the country,  Ologbondiyan answered in the affirmative.

He said the Buhari presidency would realise soon that the PDP laid the foundation for all the infrastructure in the country and that it was ready to build on it.

“A man who did not start or complete a single project in three years is talking about vision.  Where is his vision?

“Out there and out of the 180 million Nigerians are hundreds of people that will defeat the President in 2019. We will give him one of them who will trash him at the poll,” Ologbondiyan added.

‘Buhari’s aide’s claims based on falsehood’

However, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the presidential claims were based on falsehood.

The spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that the Buhari administration had failed in the area of corruption and economy.

He said Transparency International had revealed in its recent report that corruption had worsened in Nigeria since Buhari became President due to his one-sided war against graft.

Osuntokun further stated that statistics had shown that before Buhari took over, the GDP growth rate was about four per cent, but the President took Nigeria into recession for nearly two years.

The CNM spokesman also berated the Presidency for rejecting the figures of the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed that youth unemployment rate was 14.9 per cent when Buhari took over, but had now risen to 33.1 per cent.

He said, “What most Nigerians demand today is that Buhari should take the country back to how he met it when he became President. The statistics are there. The economy was growing faster than it is growing today.

“Nigeria was in recession for nearly two years under them so how can they say the economy is better today?”

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

(Visited 80 times, 63 visits today)
Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply