APC defectors are weak, selfish, says Buhari

By Editor on 12/09/2018

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President Buhari receiving nomination form from his supporters
President Buhari receiving nomination form from his supporters

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, lashed out at defectors from the All Progressives Congress, describing them as weak and selfish politicians.

He spoke while accepting the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the APC from a group, the Nigerian Consolidation Ambassadors Network, which donated the forms worth N45m to him to support his bid for re-election next year.

Though the President did not mention the names of the defectors at an event marking the handing over and acceptance of the forms in the Presidential Villa, observers believe that the President was making reference to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, ex-Vice-President Abubakar Atiku, a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso and others who recently defected from the APC to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Buhari said, “I am honoured today to receive youths from all over the country contributing to buy the forms for me.

“The weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our party.”

He said following the exit of the defectors from the party, “We now have a party of strong and patriotic people who are ready to work for a strong Nigeria.”

Buhari had in April this year declared his interest in seeking re-election for a second term in the forthcoming 2019 elections.

Buoyed by this, a pro-Buhari group, Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network, had on September 5, while Buhari was attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Beijing, China, purchased the N45m worth of forms for him.

The forms were presented to the President by the representatives of the group, comprising the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Farouk Aliyu; the Deputy Chairman of the BoT, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; the National Coordinator of the group, Sunusi Musa; the six zonal coordinators, and three special representatives.

Buhari received the forms from the group at about 12pm on Tuesday with some of his top aides, including the Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, in attendance.

Others present included, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha,  and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Accepting the forms, Buhari expressed his delight for being honoured by the group said to be made up of youths from different parts of the country.

The President, a retired general and a former military Head of State, said he came out of retirement in 2002 to pursue the realisation of his vision to rescue the country.

Buhari, who contested and lost the 2003 presidential election, said he decided to contest again in 2007 because the country reached a hopeless state in 2006.

Reeling out some of his administration’s achievements, he said the rail project had been completed under his watch with new ones under construction, adding that jobs as well as cash had been provided for the most vulnerable Nigerians.

He also said his administration provided support for farmers, through efforts including the rehabilitation of fertilizer plants.

The President added that his administration had implemented the Treasury Single Account, which he said, had reduced stealing in the public service.

The Deputy Chairman of NCAN, Chuckwuemeka Nwajiuba, speaking on behalf of the group’s Board of Trustees, said three million members of the group contributed as little as N68 to purchase the forms.

He said the decision to purchase the forms for Buhari was taken after the group assessed the President’s performance.

Nwajiuba added, “He has also reined in systemic corruption by firmly enforcing even erstwhile policies, which no one had the courage or the strength of character to enforce, be it the TSA, the IPPSA, the EGP, the operating freedom of law enforcement agencies, in dutiful compliance with the laws of our land. The list is endless.”

According to him, the group was motivated by Buhari’s commitment to the fight against corruption, terrorism and commitment to revamping the economy.

He said, “Nigerians for the first time in many years could see a leader who painstakingly took decisions solely on the basis of national interest, above his or anyone else’s.

“A leader who belongs to all and behooving to our country and to God only, who in His infinite mercy, brought our President back from the brink of death and restored him to strength and vigour.

“These ambassadors whose network seeks to consolidate these gains and engrain this focus, then decided to contribute their intellect, and little earnings towards ensuring that our President is encouraged to continue this service, in spite of the hue and cry from a vociferous few whose stranglehold on our commonwealth has become somewhat dislodged.

“It is on account of the resolve of these ambassadors that they proceeded to obtain the nomination form for the President from the APC, to encourage Mr. President to seek re-election for another term to help consolidate the work he is doing.”

Buhari is Nigeria’s most incompetent leader, says ex-VP

But Atiku has said President Buhari’s failure to retain significant individuals in his party was a sign of weakness and lack of leadership.

Atiku, through his campaign organisation, said his attempt to come to power “is to clean the mess that Buhari would leave which has resulted in job loss, poor economy and ranking of the country as one of the poorest.”

The spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Segun Sowunmi, in a reaction to Buhari’s comment while receiving the APC nomination forms, said, “Never in the history of Nigeria has a more incompetent person served in the chambers of the exalted office of the President. No President of Nigeria, politics apart, will speak in such manner. The fact is that freedom of association is guaranteed by all the United Nations’ conventions and the constitution of our country.

“That Buhari has not been able to provide leadership and keep high-network individuals in the APC is to his own weakness and a question of his lack of capacity to keep Nigerians together. We are in the campaign and we are on the ballot. Atiku is attempting to become the President to clean the mess that Buhari caused in our country.

“Buhari has made many Nigerians lose their jobs and our country has become one of the poorest countries in the world. He has divided the country and people cannot move freely. He has made a mess of the economy.

“Therefore, we take his comment as not possibly referring to us. He should speak to issues, development, job creation, restructuring and so on. Obviously, these things he cannot do.”

Address issues, Senate President tells Buhari

Also, Saraki, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, asked Buhari to address issues and not individuals in his speeches.

He said, “Every aspirant including Buhari – because he is not a candidate yet – should be focused on issues, he should not be descending into abusing people. It is about now that the President should be talking about his achievements, not abusing people. If as the President he speaks and people start reacting and responding to him, that will be desecrating the institution of the Presidency. He should discuss issues. If he is talking like that as President, then he is lowering the standards of that office.”

Kwankwaso dismisses Buhari’s claim

Also, Kwankwaso has dismissed Buhari’s claim about the APC defectors.

Speaking through his Principal Secretary, Hajia Binta Spikin, the lawmaker said, “The President should have come plain so that we would know who exactly he was referring to. But my leader and the Rabi’u Kwankwaso that I know is not weak because his achievements are there to speak for him.

“What he has been able to achieve in Kano in four years alone defines him as a strong, visionary, compassionate leader who knows what he wants and how to get it. He is the only leader that I know who has been able to put Kano on a sound footing and erect infrastructure projects – over 6,000 of them between 2011 and 2015; they are there for you to touch, feel and use. A weak person cannot achieve that. He cannot be selfish too because he remains the only governor of Kano who did not collect security vote. The man’s cult-like followership is because he is strong and people know that he is not selfish, and he can deliver.”\

 

Posted 12/09/2018 07:56:05 AM

 

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