…As IBB, Atiku meet for 3 hours
From Edwin Olofu and Mustapha Adamu, Kano; Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is still at a loss that despite the atrocities the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) committed against Nigerians, the party is making frantic and desperate efforts to return to power in 2019.
Buhari who was speaking during an interactive session with community leaders in Government House Kano yesterday, as part his 2-day working visit to the state, said Nigerians would never forget PDP’s 16 years of misrule.
According to Buhari, corruption thrived during the administration of PDP, lamenting that the Nigerian treasury was rendered empty during the party’s reign, adding that the party performed woefully on Security and economy.
“we are all living witness of how Boko Haram brought commercial activities to a halt in Northern Nigeria. They killed worshippers at mosques and churches and be chanting Allahu Akbar. They kill people in schools, markets and other public places at will. This clearly is attributed to corruption and bad governance.
“Whoever perpetrates this evil act is either that he person doesn’t fear God or lacks the knowledge of Islam. And he shall face the wrath of God in the hereafter,”
President Buhari also reminded Nigeians that “Crude oil price was at over $120 per barrel but all the monies we realized they squandered it. These are the kind of atrocities committed in this country, and these kind of people have the guts to say they will return to power,“ he wondered.
“In this country we found a judge, hiding foreign and domestic currencies running into millions and 4 diplomatic passports in his house. This is the man that sends people to 20 years in jail for committing corruption, now he is found wanting. Is this how PDP wants to return to power?, he asked rhetorically. He also recalled that from 1999 to 2014, Nigeria produced 2.1 million Barrel of crude oil per day at the rate of at least $100, lamenting that the money were nowhere to be found under the opposition PDP.
“Unfortunately, when we came on board, the price of oil crashed to $28. From $28, it rose to $37 up to $40. I went to the Central Bank of Nigeria, because everybody in the world knew what Nigeria got at that time. I then asked, what about what has been saved for the country, I was told at the CBN that nothing was left in the treasury but liabilities.
“I couldn’t believe it, because it is lie. They said the money was used in food and fuel importation, while we produce our own food in the South-East, South-West, North-East and North-West. Most of the people in these regions produce their own food because they are not government workers; as such, they can’t buy foreign food. This is a lie.
“When we investigated how the fuel was imported, sadly, we found that more than half of the money were going in bogus deals between the importers and the buyers in connivance with the CBN officials. They don’t care about the plight of the remaining Nigerians,” Buhari lamented.
He said the change agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was to fight Boko Haram insurgency, corruption and revamp the economy, adding that his government was recording successes, admitting that fighting corruption was the most difficult among the three agendas.
He called on Nigerians to understand the difference between democratic and military administration, noting that since his military regime, corruption was fighting back, as he himself ended in jail for about three years.
“When I was a military head-of-State, I arrested and jailed some politicians for stealing. Among them only two of them, late Bilyaminu Usman and Mallam Adamu Ciroma were found clean. But since at that time, corruption has been fighting back, as I myself was jailed for more than two years.
Buhari also said that when the insurgency took its toll in the northeast region, not only did it destroy commercial activities, people in the region were also forced to migrate to other states because the insurangents sacked their towns.
He added that when his government came on board, he put special strategies to decimate the insurgency, adding that everybody was witness that Boko Haram had been defeated.
President Buhari also recalled when he was a minister of petroleum, he signed the Memorandum of Understanding for construction of Kaduna, Portharcourt and Warri refineries, adding that the refineries were functioning well and produced about 100,000 BPD of oil and refined the crude oil imported from middleast.
He added that after he served his jail term, he found that all the refineries stopped functioning, lamenting that the government then deliberately rendered the refineries dysfunctional.
“On my return, as military man, i pounced on some oil pirates and took to their heels, leaving their vessels and canoes used for foe stealing the crude oil. After this operation, Nigeria continued to sell 100,000 BPD of petroleum, after domestic consumption on daily basis.
Buhari boasted that with the changes being brought by the ruling APC, coupled with the multy-party system in the country, the return of PDP to power was a mere mirage.
Buhari also disclosed that he ordered that the recovered properties from looters should be sold and the money be kept in the Nigerian treasury, recalling that during his military regime, when he recovered some properties from the looters, they were returned to the looters when he was in jail.
On agriculture, Buhari said when he came into power; he met with the minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbe, and came up with plans on how to revive the nation’s agricultural glory.
He added that the government introduce the Anchor Borrower programme, and to reduce the price of fertilizer.
He commended governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for his commitments towards fertilizer production, acknowledging that the state was even blending the commodity.
Buhari also said the programme aided the farmers in recording bumper harvest, adding that he received a report that most of the Nigerian pilgrims this hear were farmers.
Reacting to the request by emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, to ban importation of exotic foods, Buhari said the ban on rice importation by his government had reached 90%.
On the emir’s advice for Buhari to ask ECOWAS to ban rice importation in the whole West Africa, aimed at boosting local production, the president said relationship between countries must be cordial, otherwise there were some implications attached to that.
He said “That is why when I was voted into power, I travelled to Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic and Benin Republic, to ask for their cooperation to fight insurgency and asked them not to import food to us because we are producing it.
“But our western neighbours still smuggle rice via the borders into Nigeria, but we are working to end this trend also,” he assured Buhari however expressed delight on the warmth reception he was accorded by the people of Kano, saying “I saw how people came out in mass, including small children, just to catch a glimpse of me. I never expected that would happen. Thank you for your support.”
Meanwhile, former Vice president Atiku Abubakar yesterday held over three hours closed door meeting with former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in his Hill top mansion in Minna.
Although Alhaji Atiku shun the journalists who waited for over three hours to interview him on his mission to the elder statesman, one of the founding fathers of the PDP.
Investigation revealed that he came for consultation ahead of the PDP National convention which begun today and his presidential ambition come 2019 to seek for his support.
Atiku however arrive at IBB house by 12:34pm from Minna airport aircraft T7AAA in his company were the Niger state deputy Governor,
Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, former governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu and state Head Of Service HOS Alhaji Yabagi Sule to IBB resident.
Apparently, the deputy Governor and HOS immediately zoom off from the house as the former Vice President was ushered into the house hence Atiku was drove in a black colored Lexus jeep LX570 with registration number MNA 740 LD left the house by 3:50pm same yesterday Thursday.
The meeting according to findings revealed that former military President Ibrahim Babangida was set to give maximum support to ensure that Atiku Abubakar get the ticket to fly the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party come 2019.
The PDP state Chairman Bar. Tanko Beji and other officials as well as party loyalists were part of his entourage just as if he is able to get the sympathy of general would mark the entire sympathy of the Niger delegates but Atiku came out wearing a long face showing he might not be happy with the out come of the automatic ticket he is seeking for in the party hence must pass through procedures.
Consequently, Atiku’s security aides however pushed the patiently waiting journalists depriving them from interview despite their efforts even when they threw questions at him, he deliberately declined to answer hence he drove off to the airport for Abuja.