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First 30 days: APC lists 8 achievements of Buhari …let Nigerians judge, says PDP

By The Citizen
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The All Peoples Congress (APC), on Tuesday, listed eight-point achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last 30 days he assumed office.

The party, at a press conference addressed by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, insisted that contrary to what was being peddled in some quarters, 'I can tell you that there has been motion, and there has been movement.'

He stated that the president hit the ground running over insecurity and terrorism that had hitherto prevailed in the country.

Mohammed noted that the Buhari-led administration had availed itself creditably within one month of assuming office.

One of the achievements, as listed by the party, was Buhari's will power in tackling insecurity and fighting against terrorism

'This is one area in which the Buhari-led administration has hit the ground running. The president had hardly been sworn into office than he embarked on a shuttle diplomacy to rally Nigeria's neighbours to act as a common front against the terror group Boko Haram.

'The president travelled to Chad and Niger and then hosted a summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission that comprised Cameroon, Chad and Niger, with Benin Republic also invited.

'The result is the decision to deploy the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in N’Djamena, Chad, on July 30, to pep up the fight against Boko Haram. This is the same force that the past administration could not get off the ground in six years.

'That's what we meant when we said what the Jonathan-led administration could not do in six years, the Buhari-led administration has done in three weeks, not minding that some mischievous elements decided to quote us out of context.'

President Buhari, he also said 'has rallied the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to work with Nigeria in battling the Boko Haram insurgency. A joint summit of leaders of both economic blocs is to be held shortly to concretise these efforts that will complement the one by Nigeria and its neighbours.

'Outside our sub-region, the president travelled to Germany to meet with G7 leaders to present to them a wish list that included getting their support for the battle against Boko Haram. The leaders of the countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency have compiled their requirements which are being forwarded to the G7 for appropriate action.'

The results of some of the movements, he noted, caused the United States (US) to announce a $5 million assistance for the fight against the terrorists who have been ravaging the country and sub-region.

'Added to the relocation by the Nigerian military of the command centre to Maiduguri, these are no mean achievements.

'Only a few weeks back, Nigeria could not enlist the support of any Western nation in the fight against Boko Haram, could not get the military hardware needed to pep up the fight and had to resort to using mercenaries to confront the bandits, though the country boasts of a military that has been globally acknowledged for helping to restore peace to many countries around the world,' he said

The statement Mohammed read at the conference also noted that 'the fight against corruption ranks very high on the list of the Buhari-led administration's priorities and justifiably so.

'The refrain, 'If Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria,' is now commonplace, and it is a truism. Nothing, not even the fight against terror, can succeed without putting an end to the kind of prodigious and sickening corruption being witnessed in these climes.

'That is why the president also included it on the wish list he took to Germany during the last G7 summit. Thankfully, some Western nations have now assured the Buhari-led administration of all possible assistance in its efforts to recover the billions of Naira that was spirited away from the public by public officers who abused their office during the immediate past administration.

'Only yesterday (Monday), the president ordered revenue-generating agencies, including the NNPC, FIRS, Customs and NPA, to close all illegal revenue accounts and to also remit all funds generated to the Federation Account.

'This is a momentous step considering that those illegal accounts are being used to siphon public funds.

'Thanks to the painstaking efforts of President Buhari, Nigerians now know that out of N8.1 trillion generated by the NNPC in three years, N3.8 trillion was not remitted to the Federation Account.

'Nigerians now know that the cash in the Excess Crude Account has been depleted by $2 billion without explanation. A panel of four governors has been set up to investigate what happened to the money that was not remitted to the Federation Account.

'The rot met by the Buhari-led administration is sickening, and the president is working hard to plug all loopholes for siphoning public funds, in addition to recovering looted public funds.'

He also said President Buhari had brought the country back to the comity of respected nations

'Since President Buhari’s election on March 28, 2015, Nigeria has been moving fast to regain its deserved place in the comity of respected nations.

'Leaders who once shunned Nigeria have been inviting President Buhari  in droves to visit their countries. The latest is United States President Barack Obama, who will play host to our president at the White House on July 20.

'There is no better indication of how much Nigeria is regaining its lost glory than the recent election of former Agriculture Minister, Akinwumi Adesina, as the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

'Recall that Nigeria has never before led the continental bank, despite its front-line role there. In backing and campaigning for Dr Adesina, President Buhari put his acclaimed sterling qualities to a global test and he passed in flying colours. Adesina's election is a testimony to the perception of Nigeria under President Buhari's leadership.

The national publicity secretary said  'my party, the APC, understands and appreciates the concerns of Nigerians as far as the perceived pace of the administration is concerned.

'We understand that they repose so much confidence in the party and the government to act quickly to stamp out insecurity, tackle corruption, revive the moribund economy, provide jobs and generally restore hope.

'Justifiably, the expectations are high and urgent and the Buhari-led administration has started addressing them, despite the enormous challenges that it faces, including an empty treasury and an economy that has virtually collapsed.

'While Nigerians are right to demand quick and sustained action in addressing these challenges – and honestly we make no excuses – it is important for us to put things in perspective for a better understanding.'

He called the attention of Nigerians to the fact that 'Nigeria has never before witnessed this kind of transition. What the country has been accustomed to is transition from one government to another under the same ruling party, not from the ruling party to the opposition as we have now. The implication is that this is a new learning curve, with its attendant hiccups.'

He added that 'never before has the ship of Nigerian state been steered aground as we have it now. Never before have Nigerians been this expectant from any leader or any government. These are all the more reasons to get things right, once and for all, so we won’t need to continue with the vicious cycle of hopes raised and dashed.'

While appealing to Nigerians, he said 'we in the APC hereby assure our compatriots, who have expressed their concerns in recent times, that there is no cause for alarm.

'The Buhari-led administration is willing, determined and able to effect the change that Nigerians voted for, despite the initial challenges. No one, not even the reactionary forces that are rampaging now, can sabotage our party's change mantra.

'Nigerians are right and justified in their expectations. All we ask for is a little more patience, a little more understanding and continuous support for the Buhari-led administration.'

Reacting, the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, declared that Nigerians would judge the claims of the APC that it had perform excellently within the last 30 days, despite the late release of the handing over note by the PDP-led administration

The national publicity secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said, 'We are not going to say anything for now. Let Nigerians judge for themselves.'

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
By: Sir Roy Kelly, Avian