By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA – President Mohammadu Buhari says his administration if re-elected into office for second term will build on the momentum of his present achievements.
President Buhari stated this on Sunday in his opening speech at The Testimonies of Change organised by the ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of ‘the Buhari administration’ at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
President Buhari, who was represented at the event by the minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma said he was overwhelmed by the testimonies of Nigerians from the cross the country who benefited directly from his economic policies and promised that in his second term he would double the efforts.
He also pledged that his administration would continue to implement policies and programmes that will impact more on the lives of common Nigerians.
‘‘What I have just witnessed is a clear testimony that this administration has indeed impacted on the people of this country. Hearing directly from Nigerians lends credibility to the impact of our policies and our programmes.
‘‘I therefore wish to congratulate the testifiers that and therefore wish to tell them to continue to spread the good news. This administration will continue to implement programmes that will benefit the largest number of our country men and women.
‘‘In our second term, we will build on this momentum, we will build even more, Nigerians can look forward to greater prospects, they can look forward for better opportunities, they can look forward to a continuation of growth that id diversified, that is inclusive, that is sustained.
Under my leadership we will achieve the Nigeria of our dream.’’
Earlier in his opening speech, the minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed said the event tagged: The Testimonies of Change, was designed to showcase, in a unique way, the achievements of the Buhari administration.
According to him, the programme was considered as a better way of telling the story of the Buhari’s administration and lend credence to the ongoing radio and television broadcasts in order to get the message across to Nigerians.
‘‘We have used many platforms to communicate the numerous achievements to Nigerians. These include Town Hall Meetings, which we have now held 16 times across the country; media tour of infrastructural projects; regular visits to media organizations, press conferences and media interviews, and the FGN/iAPP.
‘‘However, we decided to add another platform, which is personal testimonies. The simple, dictionary meaning of testimony is ‘evidence or proof of something’. There is no better evidence of what this Administration has achieved than that given by Nigerians, who have been positively impacted by the policies and programmes of government.
‘‘No one can better tell Nigerians about the impact of the Home-grown School Feeding System than the 9.2 million school children who are fed one meal a day, five times a week, or the over 90,000 cooks who have been employed under the programme. No one can better tell Nigerians about the impact of the N-POWER than the 500,000 graduates who have been employed under the scheme.
‘‘If you want to know about the success of Tradermoni, ask any of the 2 million beneficiaries. If it’s Marketmoni, ask any of the over 350,000 beneficiaries. Who can better communicate the efficiency of the Abuja-Kaduna rail transportation that the thousands of people who are daily ferried between the two cities. And if the government says it has paid pensioners from the defunct NITEL and Nigeria Airways, among others, is it not better to hear directly from those who have received their pensions after waiting for many years?
‘‘This is exactly what we have done. We asked Nigerians, volunteers all, who have benefited from the various programmes of government, to relate their experiences to fellow Nigerians. That’s how the testimony series was born.
‘‘Starting late last year, the testimonies have been running on radio and television stations across the country, as well as in the social media. Just as we envisaged, this testimony series has been a huge success. In fact, it so rattled the opposition that they were forced to issue a statement in which they acknowledged that the media space is awash with the testimony series.
‘‘Now, we won’t be surprised if the naysayers, who have never seen anything good in this Administration, say that those who participated in the testimony series are either card-carrying members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or were even coerced to do so. That is not the case. These are everyday Nigerians who are simply giving their personal testimonies.
‘‘We therefore decided to present them to Nigerians, in flesh and blood, hence this event, tagged Testimonies of Change, which is unprecedented in our recent history. The achievements of this administration are real, and the administration has impacted positively on millions of Nigerians, in just three and half years and with very limited resources, compared to other Administrations that have presided over the affairs of our dear country since 1999,’’ the minister added.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of the video clips of the testimonies by the beneficiaries of the government’s Social Welfare men and women who appeared in the videos.