By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—THE Buhari Campaign Organisation, BCO, said yesterday that the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for second term by Niger Delta militants is an indication of his mass acceptance and nationwide popularity even in the strongest hold of the opposition.
The militant groups under the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, had on Monday declared their support for the second term ambition of President Buhari in 2019, saying he is the only president that has shown commitment to peace and development of the Niger Delta region since he came on board in 2015.
The BCO while reacting to the development said that despite effort by the opposition to make it seem as if Buhari is now unpopular, his endorsement by the repented militants has shown his landmark achievements in the region that was hitherto abandoned by its kinsmen in the corridors of power.
BCO’s director of communications and strategic planning, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, noted in a statement issued in Abuja that despite agitations and yearning from the people of Ogoni, past governments refused to pay attention to the plight of the people until President Buhari came on board and initiated the cleanup project to restore the environment.
According to him, “the endorsement of the president for a second term by militant groups from the Niger Delta did not come to us by surprise. The region has benefitted immensely from the Buhari administration.”
Ibrahim added that though the Niger Delta region suffered from under-development and massive looting of its resources under past administrations for 16 years, President Buhari has given the region a facelift in just three years.
“The take off of the Nigerian Maritime University in Delta State, setting aside $170 million seed money for the Ogoni clean up and the construction of the 2nd Niger bridge are projects targeted at addressing the plight of the Niger Delta people.
“The crusade to stamp out corruption in government at all levels is yielding positive results. The recent resignation of the erstwhile Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, due to her NYSC certificate saga is point to recon with. But for the integrity and will power the present administration to make things right she would not have resigned”.
The director stated that before taking over power from the previous administration, President Buhari was so much respected and cherished to the extent that Nigerians called him the ‘messiah’ who would salvage their problems and he has not betrayed them.
Ibrahim observed that even though he (Buhari) met an almost collapsed economy due to corrupt practices by government officials, he has been able to turn around the fortunes of the country for good, something that he said even the international community is attesting to.
He noted: “The Buhari administration had been confronted with issues of Boko Haram, Farmers/Herders clash, militancy, IPOB, Economic recession, corruption and other internal problems.
“But the Buhari administration did not compromise the unity of this country in addressing these issues. In the Agricultural sector, importation of essential commodity has reduced drastically.
“So far, the administration of Buhari has been able to resuscitate the Agricultural sector as Nigerians have gone back to farming, revived the railway, constructed major roads across the federation and more than 2,000 megawatts have been added to the power sector.
“The Social Investment Program (SIP) is the largest and most ambitious social safety programme in the history of Nigeria with 500,000 N-Power (unemployed graduates) benefiting currently participating, government Enterprise and Employment program (GEEP) with N15.183 billions in interest free loan being disbursed to Nigerians”.