President Muhammadu Buhari has again affirmed that the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents have been defeated in the North East region of the country.
Buhari made the statement at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while flagging of 2019 presidential campaign of All Progressive Congress (APC).
The President, who was flanked by the party’s stalwarts, maintained that the insurgents have been dislodged from Borno and Kebbi States which were their major strongholds before he came into power.
He said “I am standing here to express my gratitude and appreciation to the party for organizing this get-together to start the campaign against next year. If you could recall in 2015 when we traveled the length and breadth of this country and we based our campaign on three fundamental issues, -security, economy and fighting corruption. I want those who want to challenge us at any level,, at any constituency to doubt our contributions towards our undertakings.
“First, insecurity in the North East has been really defeated in the sense that when we came we met Boko haram in about 17 local governments in Borno and Yobe states. They are not physically holding any local government now. They resorted to indoctrinating our young ones especially girls. They braced them up in explosives and instructed them to expose themselves in churches, in Mosques, market places and motor parks but I assure you that we are going to clear them off in our county.”
The President said that Nigerians would always be informed on the progress being made to recover stolen funds and that ‘’Nigerians wont regret voting us into office”.
He noted that his administration has delivered on his promises in 2015 hinged on security, economy and fighting corruption and urged the electorate to give him another term in office to consolidate on his achievements.
National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu took a swipe at former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, describing his comment on the 2019 budget as ‘’shallow and full of contradictions”.
He reiterated that it was only the APC government that would give hope to the Nigerian people and called on the electorate to re-elect him and other candidates of the party across the country.
He said: “To bring that hope, strong determination, we are building on a new foundation and that foundation is for you, the youths, the elderly, and tomorrow’s children. Fight for your future, rise and fight corruption. Fight the 16years that gave you 16years of darkness. If only the PDP would have concentrated on one thing only, electricity, without which there can be no industrialization, without which there can be no development, it would have been better. They said they want to come back. We are not bringing you back. No backward move in Nigeria, no backward move in Akwa Ibom.
“ We will work with you to build a Nigeria that you can rely on ,a Nigeria that is not corrupt. Corruption is the greatest enemy, and the cancer of development in this country. We will continue to fight it, renew the hope of Nigerians and build a greater nation”
National Chairman, Adam Oshomhole, accused the People’s Democratic Party of engaging in mudslinging instead of campaigning on issues, blaming the PDP for putting in economic quagmire.
‘’PDP has already put Nigeria on notice that Atiku will sell NNPC. And South-South will not support a government that will privatize our resources”, he said.
National Vice Chairman, South-South, Ntufam Hilliard Etta , prayed that Buhari should defeat Atiku, stating that Buhari has revolutionized the Agriculture sector and also reeled out other achievements such as the school feeding programme, construction of the second Niger Bridge, roads, railways and the increase of Police salary.
‘’He is doing so much. First they wanted our lion dead , he did not die , he became stronger. Then they coined a story that our lion is a Jubril from Sudan, but their enterprise failed”, he said.
Also speaking, Director General, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Ameachi said, “ I am sure that Nigerians have not heard me for a very long time and the reason you have not heard me is that you don’t talk when you are busy. We have been relatively busy in the past four years.
“About this time four years ago we were running round the country begging Nigerians to change the leadership of the country. We promised just three things. We promised to improve the economy, to enhance security, and we promised to fight corruption. Anybody who said we promised that fuel prize will fall must be a magician. We are not voodoo economists. It was very clear what was wrong. We got in and saw the challenges; we never knew that they had stolen all the money.
“And when we got in we were mindful of the promises that we made. We commenced that action, believing that Nigerians will know that changes don’t come easily. Nigerians know that before we came to power as governor of Rivers state I could not sleep in Kano, because Kano , Abuja were attacked. Since we have been in government till now attack had been in Borno, not outside Borno. So have we made any improvement in security? The answer is yes.
“When we came, things were extremely bad. The factors that we met in terms of economy led to economic recession. We didn’t have a choice but to fight that economic recession. World Bank said that we will not come out of the recession till after three years, we came out of recession after ten months. We promised to fight corruption, are we fighting corruption, the answer is yes.
For his part, Senator Godswill Akpabio commended the President for choosing the state to flag off the campaign and gave the assurance that the party would sweep the zone, noting that ‘’this election is all about integrity”.
‘’It is all about integrity versus others. He has integrity to run. We are going to run this election on the basis of development. . They should hand over”, he said.
The high point of the rally was the presentation of the party flags to the four governorship candidate of the South-South, namely, Obong Nsima Ekere, Akwa Ibom state; Senator John Eno, Cross River, Chief Great Ogboru, Delta and Arc. Tony Cole, Rivers State.