By Ezra Odogu
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was colluding with saboteurs to create the fuel crisis.
He said the opposition party was sabotaging the petrol supply to blackmail the Federal Government to gain political advantage.
Tinubu, who reacted to PDP’s statement on his remarks about the lingering scarcity and the redesigned naira in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said efforts by its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to cause a conflict between him and President Muhammadu Buhari, will fail.
Tinubu spoke at a rally in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where the flags were given to party candidates.
He urged the people to vote for the governorship candidate Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia.
Tinubu said while in power, the PDP administration gave retail licenses to their supporters and sympathisers who are now hoarding fuel to create long queues across the country.
He said: “They met good oil prices for 16 good years. They didn’t remember gas pipelines. They are what I called saboteurs yesterday.
“They gave PMS licenses to their supporters and sympathisers. They are the ones who started creating fake queues. PDP, enough is enough.”
Tinubu said Atiku broke the civil service rule in Nigeria when he said he was doing transport business when he was in Customs Service.
He said: “They asked him, you are so rich, where did you get your money from, and he said from doing transport business. He didn’t know that was an offence. The only thing you are allowed to do as a civil servant is farming.”
Urging the youths to keep hope alive, Tinubu said his administration would ensure access to quality education and loans to allow brilliant and indigent students to have higher education.
In his prepared speech, which he did not read, Tinubu promised to reenact his feats as governor of Lagos State if elected.
He said Benue people would not be owed salaries, adding that he will also resolve the problem of IDPs in the state.
He said: “I am proud of what we accomplished in Lagos. I am so proud of it. I do not run off to live elsewhere. I live where my policies and programmes worked.
“Obi left Anambra because his policies and programmes failed. Just as we improved Lagos, we shall lead Nigeria to its greatest destiny.”
Tinubu promised to establish agricultural and industrial hubs, which will expand businesses and improve local incomes.
He also promised to make Benue a global leader in agriculture, bringing further income to the state.
He said: “Rather than just growing food crops, you will package, process and brand food items for other African and global markets exportation.
“My administration will establish commodity exchange boards guaranteeing prices for important crops so that you are ensured a decent living for your hard work.
“Our agricultural plan will establish an agricultural hub and improve access to finance. Both of these will enable you to modernise farm operations, and improve productivity while reducing labour through mechanised farming tools and modern technology.
“Working with the state government, we will encourage mining in the state in a regulated and sustainable way that benefits your communities and gives the labourer a just wage for his daily work.
“Limestone, lead, tin, and marble will be extracted and sold in Nigerian and foreign markets to stimulate the economy and enrich the people.”
On security, Tinubu said: “My administration will also invest in the quality of our democratic governance and in what must be our democratic security. We have heard your pleas. We know of the insecurity, the violent clashes and the loss of lives and property.
“Our security agenda will work. It will protect the people and secure the land. My national security plan invests heavily in surveillance equipment, in technology and training of our security forces. We stop the terrorists, kidnappers, killers and bandits.
“We will mobilise the totality of our national security assets to protect all Nigerians from real danger and from the real fear of danger.”
Minister of Special Duties and former Benue governor, Senator George Akume, extolled Tinubu’s leadership qualities and magnanimity as he charged Benue voters to vote for the APC candidate.
He recalled his friendship with Tinubu since 1993, saying he is a friend of the Benue people.
Describing Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, as persons free of extremist tendencies, Akume said: “When so many churches were destroyed by Boko Haram in Borno, he (Shettima) rebuilt many of them”.
Plateau State Governor and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Simon Lalong, Deputy National Chairman (South) of the APC, Senator Abubakar Kyari and Rev. Fr. Alia urged the voters to rally behind the APC for a more guaranteed future.
Other dignitaries at the rally included the APC vice presidential candidate; Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello; former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Senator Barnabas Gemade.
Lalong said: “We worked so hard with Akume in 2015 and won the state from PDP, but unfortunately, we gave it to the wrong person who took away our structures.
“But let me assure you that with Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President, there will be no more killings in Benue state and workers will be paid.”
Benue APC Governorship candidate, Rev. Fr. Alia, described Tinubu and Shettima as genuine and great leaders who will turn around the fortune of Nigeria for good.