—As Oshiomhole accuses Atiku of working for foreign interests
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday boasted that he was not corrupt because in all the positions he has held in the country, he has never been convicted for corruption.
This is as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate of working seriously for the interest of the western world.
President Buhari made the boast while addressing members of his ruling APC, as well as his supporters at the Presidential campaign rally in Abakaliki township stadium, Ebonyi State.
Recall that Buhari was former Head of State in 1983-85, Governor of the Northeastern State 1975–1976, and chairman Petroleum Trust Fund between 1994-95.
According to him, “I can assure you that I, as the President today have never been in a position of abusing trust. As a governor of the whole six north eastern states, as minister of petroleum for over three years and as a former head of state. I was arrested, detained, investigated but they never found anything against me.“
The President thanked Ebonyi people for turning out in large numbers for the rally, saying that they demonstrated that they cannot be bought.
He urged them to hold him by his words.
Buhari recalled that when he came for campaign in 2015, he promised three things, first, to tackle the security situation in the country, stressing that at a time 17 local governments in the north east were under the control of Boko Haram.
He enthused that as at today, there was no local government under the control of the terrorists.
He said, “The important thing is that, please try and hold us by our promise. When we came here the last time, we told you there are three fundamental things the country is facing.
“First, we have to secure the country because part of the country is under threat in the north east, at least 17 local governments were in the hands of Boko Haram. Secondly, the economy. The able bodied unemployed persons in Nigeria are too many. Thirdly, to fight corruption.”
The President congratulated the military and other law enforcement agencies, noting that today none of the local government in the north east was under the control of Boko Haram.
He said, “They have resulted in indoctrinating young men and abducting young girls below the ages of 15, wrap them with explosives and send them to soft targets- churches, mosques, market places and motor parks. Even that is becoming rear now.”
Buhari also said that with favourable weather, Nigeria has achieved food security and no longer imports rice, adding that the money saved from importations was being used for infrastructural development.
He added that the monies were now being channeled to building of roads, rails among other infrastructural development.
He said, “We thank God that Nigeria prayed very hard and the three previous rainy season were good. The government realized it and asked the Central Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture to give soft loans and make fertilizer available to farmers at half the price it used to be.
“And every able bodied persons who does not feel too big to earn a living went back to the farm and nobody regretted it.
“We have now virtually achieved food security, we no longer import rice as we used to and the money we have saved are for infrastructure. We are doing the roads, the rails and we are doing the new standard gauge and we are improving power.”
“The last thing is about fighting corruption and bribery. Fighting corruption is a very difficult process but we are doing our best by trying to reorganize the Nigerian police or and the judiciary itself.
“Because, we appointed people that went into public office without their own houses, without even maybe good cars but within three years they build houses in Abuja, open accounts in Europe or America and we cannot touch them.
“But when we discover what they have we take them to court and when we take them to court we hope they will be prosecuted and then we will punish them.
“I can assure you that I, as the President today has never been in a position of abusing trust. As a governor of the whole six north eastern states, as minister of petroleum for over three years and as a former head of state.
“I was arrested, detained, investigated but they never found anything against me. So I went through all the rigmarole that is against our development as a nation. God has given us people, he has given us resources.
President Buhari solicited the votes of the Ebonyi people to enable him continue with the work his administration has started.
He said, “What this administration is doing and what it will continue to do, if you vote me back is to make sure we realize the potential of our people and the resources God has given us to make life better for this country, for our future generations.”
Also speaking, National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who received 25 leaders from other parties, who have resolved to work for the APC, accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar of working for foreign interest.
He argued that the letters by the former Vice President to United Kingdom (UK), Unites States (US) and European Union (EU), were appealing to western sentiments angling to take over Nigeria’s economy.
He said, “The right to defend Nigeria’s sovereignty is not negotiable.”
Oshiomhole maintained that Atiku deferring to western interest will only injure Nigeria economy and pauperised the people, calling on the voters never to vote for Atiku.
He described the forth coming elections as a class war between the elites and the poor, just as he insisted that Buhari’s policies including TraderMoni were pro-poor despite the complains of the likes of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Oshiomhole said no external force can impose leaders on Nigeria.
The APC state chairman, Eze Nwachukwu Eze, described Governor David Umahi’s administration as total failure, urging the president to resist the temptation of believing the governor’s sweet talks, that he will support his re-election.
The Ebonyi APC party boss said, the civil servants in the state have been short changed by the PDP administration and that the governor paid only what he felt like paying at the end of every month.
He alleged that Umahi met 5,200 workforce when he resumed in 2015, which has been depleted to 3,200 in 2019 with the governor not employing anyone to replace the dead and the retired.
He also alleged that the governor has refused to appoint permanent secretaries who are supposed to be accounting officers or ministries. He requested the president to order the audit of the state so as exposed alleged corruption in the management of the state resources by Umahi.
He assured the president that APC has grown in Ebonyi exponentially to be able to deliver at least 25 percent to ensure Buhari’s victory in the presidential election.
The Ebonyi State APC governorship candidate Senator Sonni Ogbuoji, assured that Ebonyi will deliver a total vote for APC.
He said, “We are resolved to lead the state to prosperity and advancement. It has been in the wrong hands since 2015
“Our state has dined with maladministration since 2015?and will die except we rescue it now.”