President Muhammadu Buhari has said members of the opposition cannot fault the efforts his administration has made in its three major areas of focus, namely security, economy and the fight against corruption.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke on Thursday in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, while hosting some state governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, some federal and state lawmakers and state commissioners to a lunch.
He said, “We are always encouraged when all our constituents are happy with the work we are doing and our genuine efforts to make sure that what we campaigned for in 2015 is still very much in our minds and we have not lost focus.
“In terms of security, economy and the fight against corruption, we have maintained focus. Even the opposition with all their resources cannot fault our identification of Nigeria’s priorities and the efforts being made to better them.
“We will continue to do what we ought to do in the leadership position God has placed us and we thank the constituents for the support.”
On the defections within the major political parties, the President reiterated his earlier position that he wished them well.
“For those who have decided to change camp for whatever reason, we wish them good luck,” he said.
The President said the combined efforts of defectors and their backers in the opposition would not distract his administration from the good work it was doing for the benefit and development of Nigeria.
He stressed that the ruling party had the full understanding of Nigeria’s challenges and was encouraged by the support of Nigerians in addressing them.
The feat, the Imo State Governor said, had been achieved through Buhari’s visionary leadership.
He noted that the President had remained focused and unshaken by situations and circumstances.
“This shows that your administration is approved by God.
“We are here to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing as Nigerians are very pleased with you.
“We also want to inform you that we had wonderful and peaceful Sallah celebration across the country because of security of lives and property you have guaranteed in our nation,” Okorocha told the President.
Okorocha was accompanied by the governors of Katsina, Kebbi, Kano and Niger states.
You’re surrounded by corrupt people, PDP replies President
Contrary to the claim by Buhari that he was fighting corruption, the Peoples Democratic Party has alleged that the President is surrounding himself with people who have corruption cases.
It therefore said that the claim of integrity by the President was questionable.
It further described the claim by the President that opposition could see that he was trying as an admittance of failure.
The main opposition party insisted that the President had failed in the three cardinal promises he made to Nigerians when he was campaigning in 2015.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with one of our correspondents in an interview in Abuja, also debunked the claim by the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, that the performance of Buhari’s government was satisfactory to God.
He said, “Here is a President who is surrounded by corrupt people, people who have corruption cases hanging on their necks. Where then is the much-touted integrity of the man?
“If you claim not to be a thief, but you are surrounded by thieves, you eat with them, open your doors for them and play with them? Are you not supposed to be worried?
“Where then is the integrity? Every suspected corrupt person is becoming your friend. Everyone being tried for stealing and corruption is wining and dining with you. Then you say you have integrity. President Muhammadu Buhari has shown Nigerians his friends and we now know the kind of person he is.”
Ologbondiyan said the President could not have sincerely claimed to have succeeded in the fight against insurgency and revamp of the economy as well.
In the area of insurgency, he said the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan was able to restore normalcy to the North-East, adding that this was responsible for the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct elections in the zone in 2015.
He said, “The President has indeed failed in the three areas he promised Nigerians. The indices before Nigerians testify to this.
“He has not solved any problem at all. He made the promise that he would fight insurgency, fight corruption and also revamp the economy.
“The PDP government has fought insurgency to the extent that elections were held and results declared in all the local government areas in North-East by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The outcome of the elections made the commission to declare President Buhari as the winner. Today, some areas in the zone have been taken over by insurgents.”
On the economy, he said Nigerians were worse off.
“Interest rates have gone up. Banks no longer have the capacity to grant loans. The lending facilities handed over to this government by the PDP government are all wiped off.
“Today, there is no middle class. So, where is the said performance? When he is rejected by Nigerians next year, he will go to his village, regretting that he has disappointed the people who elected him to serve them.”
Your govt has increased poverty, unemployment – ADC
Disagreeing with Buhari’s claim, the Chairman of the African Democratic Congress, Chief Okey Nwosu, said it was unfortunate that Buhari had converted the exalted office of the President to a “lie manufacturing plant.”
Nwosu, whose party has been endorsed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said statistics from every credible organisation and even agencies of government showed that poverty and unemployment had worsened.
He further stated that the crisis in the Middle Belt had reached unprecedented levels under the Buhari administration and it was therefore deceptive of Buhari to claim that he had effectively tackled insecurity.
The ADC chairman said Transparency International had exposed Buhari’s anti-graft war for the sham that it was and subsequently urged the President to focus on improving the lives of Nigerians rather than propaganda.
Nwosu said, “Buhari has turned the Presidency into a lie manufacturing plant. He has no right to evaluate himself. It is Nigerians that are supposed to assess his performance. However, the facts speak for themselves. Under Buhari, poverty and unemployment have worsened.
“He claims to have effectively tackled insecurity but every day new IDP camps are springing up. I recently returned from Borno State where I saw IDP camps all over the place.
“Even the agricultural revolution he boasts of is also false. The Middle Belt which is the food basket of the nation is in crisis, no thanks to herdsmen. So, how can he say life is better under his watch?”
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