PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari vowed yesterday to go tougher on corruption if he is re-elected in the February 16, 2019 election.
Buhari, speaking at the flag off of his presidential campaign in Uyo,Akwa Ibom State, said that with him remaining in power ,the era of handouts for people who are not ready to work,is over.
National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said Buhari’s integrity has earned him global respect across the world leaders others who can’t enter the United States of America, in an apparent broadside at the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Also speaking at the rally, National leader of the APC,Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said Nigerians should not make the mistake of allowing PDP back into power.
“Vote for your future and not that of corruption. They took 16 years and gave 16 years of darkness, if only they concentrated on one item like power, Nigeria would have not been in this mess. We are not bringing you (PDP) back,” he said.
Buhari told the mammoth crowd at the Uyo Stadium that Nigerians would not regret voting for him if he wins the coming election. He said that not only would he secure Nigeria,he would also “ stop corruption.” He added:” So, you better stay and work for a living because there is no more handouts.”
He said his focus would continue to be on security, economy and the fight against corruption. His words: “I like those who are challenging us at any level, and at any constituency to doubt our contributions towards our undertaking.
“Firstly, the civil war in the North East has been really won in the sense that when we came, they were holding, I mean Boko Haram, about 17 local government areas in Borno and Yobe states. They are not holding physically any local government areas now.
“They have resorted to indoctrinating young men and women, especially girls, dress them up in explosives and explode themselves in churches, mosques, market places and motor parks. I assure you that eventually, we are going to clear them off from our country. “The second thing is about economy.
Our population is over 60 per cent of young men that is 30 years and below. Our main problem is employment. We are very lucky, the two previous rainy seasons were good, and we’ve virtually achieved food security. We don’t import rice now. We are encouraging our farmers and we’ve regained food security.
“When I was around in uniform and much younger, I arrested former president, vice president, the governors, the ministers and told them that you are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.
“I myself was arrested and detained. So, when I came in agbada, I decided to follow what this system accepts and that those who are corrupt, should be investigated and prosecuted.
“We are doing that and we will not stop. I assure you, we have collected properties , we’ve collected cash. We have established a single treasury account to put money that are accruing to the government into one account which can be traced and accounted for.
“Nigerians will be informed from time to time on the money we’ve recovered, and from who and how we are going to use to develop this country.
“ I assure you, in 2019, trust in us, we are going to secure this country. We are going to stop corruption. So, you better stay and work for a living because there is no more handouts. I thank you very much for organizing this.
“I assure you no Nigerian will regret voting us into office and we will continue to improve the situation-security, economy and fighting corruption.”
Candidates’ character, a strong factor in 2019 elections, says Oshiomole
Comrade Oshiomhole said at the rally that Buhari stands head and shoulder above on the strength of his impeccable integrity.
He called the President “the one that is celebrated by fellow world leaders, the president who can go to America, and can stand with ex-President Obama and President Trump; not those who can’t get visa outside Nigeria. The one and only President Mohammadu Buhari.”
The taunt was perceived as a veiled reference to the protracted issue of a US visa for Atiku.
He said: “The only thing to speak on today before I perform my simple task is to say that this coming election, one of the issues that would form the basis of our campaign is the issue of character.
“And I noticed over the past 48 hours the opposition, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, they’ve decided to look for mud, wherever they could find, to throw at your person.
“The more they do it, the more the people laugh at them.
“Mr. President Nigerians know who you are, the world knows who you are; but Nigeria also knows who you are.
“I am happy that the PDP candidate cannot speak in certain parts of the world and there is nowhere you will go where you cannot speak.”
He also spoke on the statement by Atiku that he would sell some stakes in the NNPC with a view to getting money to fund Nigeria’s development projects.
He said: “the PDP candidate has already put Nigeria on notice that he is going to sell NNPC. Are we ready to sell NNPC? I believe the people of the South South where most of the oil is produced will not support a government whose policy is to privatise and take over our oil resources as the PDP candidate has promised. “
Why Buhari deserves to be re-elected -Tinubu
In his remarks, APC’ National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is also the co-Chairman of APC Presidential Campaign Council for the 2019 elections emphasized that the struggle of the party’s leaders is solely for the future of the nation.
“We came in 2015, we assured the nation and Nigeria was yearning for change – change from ineptitude, change from corruption, change from laziness, change from importation, change with a great meaning for development and diversification of the economy.
“I read their response to the last budget presented by this government and I could see several missteps; it was shallow, full of contradictions and is nothing that Nigeria should hope for.
“For the sake of this country, we will re-elect Muhammadu Buhari;, we will re-elect an APC government that will give you hope, give you a diversified economy.
“Akwa Ibom, you are one of the largest producers of petroleum but we can support you on the renaissance and renewal of your infrastructural development.
“Sixteen years of miserable economy, corruptive economy, corrosive economy of PDP will never come back to this country.
“We are strongly determined to positively change the goals of governance and that is what Muhammadu Buhari is all about and that is what APC is determined to do.
“To bring that hope, strong determination, we are building on a new foundation and that foundation is for you – the youth, the elderly and small children; focus on a future and not on corruption.
“They gave 16 years and gave you 16 years of darkness; if only they had concentrated on one item only – electricity – without which there can be no industrialization, without which there can be no development, we would have been better.
“And yet because we started and began cleaning the stables, they say they want to come back.
“No! We are not bringing you back; no backward move in our gear, no backward move for Akwa Ibom, no backward movement for Nigeria; forward-marching is progress, it is development , it is diversity in economic prosperity.
“We will work with you to build a Nigeria that you can rely upon and not corrupt; as you heard from President Buhari, corruption is the greatest enemy of development in this country.
“We will continue to fight it together, we will continue to renew the hope of Nigerians and build a greater nation.”
Amaechi:PDP can’t be trusted with power again
Earlier, the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Committee,Mr. Chibuike Amaechi said the Buhari administration would not deviate from its focus on rebuilding the economy,providing security and fighting corruption.
He said: “We promised just three things – we promised to rescue the economy, we promised to enhance security and we promised to fight corruption, those were just the three things that we promised; anybody who says that we promised that one Naira will be one dollar is a magician, anybody who said we promised that fuel prices will fall must also be a magician.
“We are not voodoo economists, we were very clear about what was to be done; we got in and saw the challenges, we never knew they had stolen all the money.
“The World Bank said we would not come out of the recession in three years but we came out of the recession in ten months,” he said adding that the government is also fighting corruption.
“If you vote for the other party, let me tell you, they will be too busy stealing money that by the time Nigerians realize it, we would be back to a recession,” Amaechi stated while urging Nigerians to join hands with APC in ensuring that PDP does not return to power again.
In his own speech, former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Godswill Akpabio who was described as “an uncommon defector” noted that the 2019 election would present a great contrast between President Buhari’s integrity and what others are offering the nation.
Oshiomhole later presented the APC flag to the party’s governorship candidates in the South South.
They are Mr Nsima Ekere, Akwa Ibom; Sen. John Enoh (Cross River); Chief Great Ogboru (Delta);and Mr Tonye Cole ( Rivers State).