President Muhammadu Buhari says his visit to parts of the country in the past weeks on campaign stops revealed that ordinary Nigerians are aware of the avaricious plunder of the national assets and resources by previous administration.
The president stated this at the presentation of a book, titled; ‘‘Nigeria on Firmer Ground, Towards Lasting Peace and Progress’’.
The book was jointly written by the Presidential Media Team and the Buhari Media Organisation to chronicle the achievements and progress recorded by the present administration in the last three and half years.
President Buhari, who opined that his administration had proved better managers of the national assets and the limited resources available, reiterated the determination of his administration to entrench higher levels of accountability and transparency in the years ahead.
“Going round the country in the past weeks on our campaign stops, I believe that our message emphasizing the need to stick to the winning team and not risk returning our country to irresponsible leadership at any level of government, has resonated with the people.
“Their stock-in-trade is the avaricious plunder of our national assets and resources, and ordinary Nigerians are quite aware of their conduct in government.
“Our simple message to the Nigerian electorate is to give us four more years to build and consolidate on the foundations we have painstakingly laid so that we shall all reap the benefits of what we have planted in all sectors of our society.
“We have proved better managers of our national assets and the limited resources available to us than past administrations, and we are committed to entrenching higher levels of accountability and transparency in the years ahead.”
On the forthcoming general elections, the president urged Nigerians to exercise their civic duty in an atmosphere of peace and security.
He also appealed to the youths not to allow themselves to be used by desperate politicians to violate the sanctity of the ballot and endanger the country.
“Let us remember that elections will come and go but we need a country in which to live. I am appealing to our youths: do not allow yourselves to be used by desperate politicians to violate the sanctity of the ballot and endanger our country.
“I assure you that the security agencies will protect you as you go out to vote without fear of violence or molestation,’’ he said.
He commended the Presidential Media Team, the Buhari Media Organisation and other stakeholders for helping Nigerians to understand more of what his administration had done by producing the book and presenting it to the public.
In his remarks, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, acknowledged that the Buhari administration had achieved a lot in the last three years despite the strained financial condition due to shrunken oil prices.
He said that through focused policies, the Buhari administration had set the foundation for enduring growth of “a diversifying economy not unduly reliant on an increasingly unreliable foreign appetite for crude oil.
“Let our economy stand on its own feet and not be overly beholden to motorists in New York City, London or Paris.
“I believe such sovereign economics are, in the long term, the soundest economics.’’
Tinubu, who was represented by a former Information Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Dele Alake, said unlike the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who reportedly promised to enrich his friends if elected as president, Buhari preferred to enrich ordinary Nigerians irrespective of their socio-political status.
“People have murmured his inaugural address statement that “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” was aimed at me.
“Well, I find that strange indeed as those words were what I wanted him to say and wanted him to be.
“Unlike others whose stated policy is to enrich friends, Buhari took the nobler position that it was better to help the millions of hard working but anonymous common folk instead of maintaining the national economy in the status of a festive party for a select few,’’ he added.
Tinubu lauded President Buhari for his ability to return Nigeria to the path of growth, noting that the nation’s foreign exchange reserves had been rebuilt while Inflation had been brought under control and the balance of trade steadily improved.
“These macroeconomic indicators point to an economy that under the watchful eye of the President, is steadily recovering.
“But we must also recognise that positive economic statistics mean little to ordinary Nigerians striving to put food on their tables.
“Our party, the APC is a party of compassion and progressivism. Despite the relatively meagre revenues of this government compared to prior governments, the Buhari administration set out to do what other governments cared not to do. That is to give direct care to the nation’s poorest and most put upon citizens.
“Our primary school feeding programme and monthly stipends for the poor feed millions, enable children to remain in school, and have energized local economies by creating scores of thousands of jobs while providing a measure of economic security to our poorest citizens,’’ he said. While reviewing the book, a former governor of Ogun, Segun Osoba, said president Buhari had performed creditably well in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.