President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo were on a TV live town hall programme tagged ‘The Candidates’ jointly organized by Nigerian Television Authority and Daria Media on Wednesday.
The Programme was moderated by Kadaria Ahmed and featured questions from the audience through various platforms aired live on NTA Network station and other media stations.
During the interaction, President Buhari gave reasons why he sought re-election.
Why do you want Nigeria to give another four years ?
President Muhammadu Buhari: My party recommend me and I did that to save time to caution members of the party. Those who felt very strongly about it left the party. The three fundamental objective we campaigned on in 2015 are still relevant. We want to remind Nigerians to see when we started and where we are now.
The fight against corruption as been accused of being selective?
President Muhammadu Buhari: I don’t think that anybody that is being booted out is corrupt. I can best explain by illustration of when I first came into power in 1984, I decided to come now and people are not just arrested, we have one that didn’t mention the amount of houses he has, he didn’t mention the company they looted and the amount
Who are you referring to ?
President Muhammadu Buhari: The EFCC have not investigated Babachair Lawal even though he has lost his job?
I told you why I have to be careful. If there are strong allegation, people should come out with strong evidence like names of companies looted, contracts awarded then, we take them before the court and ICPC and we have to trust the system and allow them to complete their investigation. If we just arrest them and lock the way we did in the military system Democracy is a multi party system that does not approve that. So if there is strong allegation , the government may ask people to go like the former secretary-general.
On how to end the herders, farmers’ crisis, Osinbajo said the long-term solution is ranching, which is a private arrangement but in the interim building of earth dams up North would go a long way.
He said outright ban of grazing will not work because it is not done anywhere, it is a gradual process.
On what the government would do with money recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, President Buhari said the money would be used to address infrastructure deficit in roads, railways and power through budgeting. Before that, he said the money recovered would be placed in a single account so that it can be accounted for.
On Boko Haram insurgency, President Buhari insisted that the insurgents had been technically defeated and decimated. According to him people of the North-East, who can now go about their businesses, go to farms and travel from one place to the other now unlike before he came to power would testify to how far his government had checkmated the insurgents.
Instead of controlling many local governments, the insurgents have been degraded to attacking soft targets like mosques, churches and markets.
Told that the insurgents now attack military facilities and kill soldiers at will, President Buhari said the war with Boko Haram is not a conventional war.
Declaring that the insurgents are being supported by forces outside Nigeria, he said the military needs a lot of money to buy equipment.