The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign rally berthed on Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital, with a call on the people to use their constitutional powers to vote out the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, venue of the rally, the APC standard-bearer, General Muhammadu Buhari, who promised to bring genuine transformation devoid of cosmetic realities, reiterated his commitment to fight insecurity, create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and rehabilitate infrastructure across the country.
His words: “I do not think I have absolutely anything new to tell you except what other party leaders have articulated. APC’s intention is to tackle the fundamental problems confronting the country.”
Buhari, who listed the priority areas as insecurity, unemployment, elimination of corruption and improvement in the education sector, said the party would as from May 30, make sure it removes insecurity from the North-east and all other parts of the country.
On poverty, he said the quickest means the party hopes to drive away poverty from the land is through investment in agriculture.
“We will improve education standards and will also work to rebuild infrastructure and take measures to remedy the erosion sites ravaging many communities.
“We are going to make sure we rehabilitate the power infrastructure. When PDP came into power, the PHCN of blessed memory, we were producing 3,000 to 4,000MW of electricity. Today after the PDP government has spent $20billion, we are producing less without any amount of accountability. Before they kill Nigeria and kill us, we better vote out the PDP. You should make sure you get your voters’ cards so that we can constitutionally vote out the PDP from office,” he said.
Earlier, the Director General, Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, and Governor of Rivers State, Hon Chibuike Amaechi, in his opening address, asked the people of Edo State to vote for the APC because President Goodluck Jonathan who is from the South-south while campaigning in Rivers, admitted that he had done nothing for the region.
“Our president, our son, has spent six years and has done nothing, so we will look for a president that will do something for us because the refineries that we have in Port Harcout was built for us by the Hausa/Fulani and not our son.
“One thing about trust is that once it is broken, it becomes difficult to repair. We have decided to vote for another capable person who will be able to work for us in 2015,” Amaechi declared.
Also in his speech, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, recalled the difficult situation the state had gone through under the past administration, saying that APC has since revived the things in the state.
He said the APC has succeeded in totally liquidating the rigging machinery which has turned the former election fixers in the state into an over cooked vegetable. He said power generation has dropped to 2,600MW from slightly over 4,000MW.
On hi part, the APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, said the APC was very proud of what Oshiomhole was doing in the state.
He noted that in the last six years the APC came into power in the state, a lot had change in the physical development of the state.
Tinubu said Buhari and Osinbajo have been put forward for presidency so that light would replace darkness.
Tinubu, who spoke about the revolution to be engineered by the poor in the country, said the people of Nigeria are definitely not ready to take excuses for failing in the education sector, in job creation and poverty alleviation.
He accused the PDP-led federal government of churning out unreliable economic statistics without commensurate impact on the lives of the common Nigerians. “This has to change,” Tinubu stated.
Furthermore, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the PDP should be changed because it has failed in several areas to satisfy the yearnings of the people.
Oyegun described Buhari as a man of principle and a credible leader who would rescue the country from bad governance.
Meanwhile, the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has alleged of dastardly plot by the ruling PDP and the President Jonathan-led federal government to stop Buhari using the guise of the court that he lied under oath that the military had his certificate.
The APC said the calculation is that this wicked pronouncement of disqualification of the APC candidate shall precipitate spontaneous violent protests across the country that will eventually scuttle the 2015 general election.
In a statement signed by Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign, Mallam Garba Shehu, the party said under the plot, the counter arguments by the APC’s candidate’s counsel would not matter because the particular Federal High Court judge has been prepared to do a dirty hatchet job.
APCPCO said the campaign has it on good authority that the kernel of the plan is to use the subterfuge of the frivolous litigation by some people to get a court pronouncement (from one of the presidency’s pliable judges).
According to Shehu, this scenario shall then make President Jonathan, the PDP candidate in the 2015 general election, to declare a six-month state of emergency across the land.
He disclosed that the three-week long strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was embarked upon on the prodding of the PDP-led federal government as a way to stymie any higher court upturning of the lower court pronouncement which ruled on President Jonathan’s eligibility to contest the February 14 election.
Similarly, the APC campaign said the same trade union had been procured to open the court to allow for this court pronouncement in disqualifying Buhari from contesting the election.
“We are aware of the intense desperation of the PDP-led federal government of President Jonathan in desiring to retain political power at all costs despite his and his party’s overwhelming rejection by the Nigerian people, ahead of the general election.
“We have brought this wicked plot of the PDP-led government to the attention of Nigerians, from whom any government derives its legitimacy. Nigeria cannot be thrown into chaos because of the selfish and callous desire of a tiny cabal to goad the Nigerian people into its destructive path. The governance of the Nigerian people by any person or group of persons must have the assent of the Nigerian people,” Shehu said.
The APC campaign called on the international community to prevail on presidency not to plunge the Nigerian state into avoidable intractable crisis.