Chief Francis Inegbeniki, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State and former senatorial candidate of the party in Edo central district.
In this interview with Vanguard, Inegbeniki speaks on why President Muhammadu Buhari is enjoying the support of Nigerians and other national issues.
By Lucky Oji
How do you assess one year of the Buhari regime?
I will score him excellent despite the situation we are facing now. We all know that one year is not enough to assess the performance of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly when the budget has not been signed. However, it is obvious that the President has made some significant progress.
Nigerians are aware that President Buhari practically inherited a collapsed economy, a very rotten and corrupt system. Resources of the country were looted and mismanaged without considering the poor masses.
Imagine funds meant for projects and certain purposes were diverted into the pockets of individuals, marketers who supplied petroleum products were not paid resulting in the fuel scarcity we are experiencing now. It was a system that never planned for the future of Nigerians and the country.
Since Buhari assumed office a year ago, the President has been doing everything possible to restore the dignity of Nigeria as a country by fighting corruption which is the major problem facing Nigeria today. This is one major area that the President has done well.
When President Buhari promised to fight corruption, many never believed what he was saying, but from what we are seeing today, the various shocking revelations how government officials in the last administration looted the resources of this country, the people now have confidence in the President, and trust whatever he will do to transform the country.
And because the President is genuinely fighting corruption as he promised, even those who looted the funds suddenly realized that they betrayed the country and what they did was wrong, so they started returning the funds.
But some Nigerians, particularly the opposition party, PDP, have continued to criticize Buhari for non performance?
The only Nigerians who I think would criticize Buhari should be those who actually benefited from the corrupt system of the last administration. It is possible that Buhari may have blocked their source, so, what do you expect from them, certainly, they must fight back and criticize the President.
President Buhari has not done anything wrong to attract such unnecessary criticism. Nobody can instigate Nigerians against the present government of Buhari, such attempts would definitely fail.
Under the government of Buhari, we are seeing that the country is gradually moving to the right direction, people are now doing things properly, even public office holders are more careful not to fall under the hammer of Buhari.
I can assure you that when the President starts implementing the 2016 budget, most of the people criticizing him now would turn around to praise him and in the next few months, Nigerians would enjoy the promised change.
But it is alleged that the president has no good agenda for your Niger Delta region?
That is not true, President Buhari meant well for the region. Remember, we have about three or four federal government intervention agencies. The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Presidential Amnesty programme. You are aware that some people even suggested to Buhari to scrap the above agencies, but he said doing so amounts to injustice against the people of the region.
In the 2016 budget, the President allocated funds to these agencies for the development of the region. However, what is very important , is for the heads and management of these agencies to prudently and judiciously use the funds for the assigned purposes.
With these agencies doing what they are supposed to do, accordingly, other federal ministries executing projects in the region, certainly the region will experience rapid development.
What is your take on the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki? Is this not persecution?
No it is not persecution, you can see the revelations coming out of the CCT. It’s unfortunate. The war against corruption is total, no exception, the law is no respecter of person.