Nigerians were yesterday urged to remove the cancer of corruption from Nigeria by renewing the mandate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for another four years.
The counsel was given by APC leaders during the party’s campaign rallies in Ekiti and Ondo states.
At the rallies were President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Co-chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, governors, including Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and nonagenarian Second Republic Senator Ayo Fansanmi, among others.
They told Nigerians why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar should not be trusted to steer the country’s affairs.
Tinubu, who took a swipe at Atiku and his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for running the nation’s economy aground when they held the forte, said the country deserved a leader like Buhari, who has used the nation’s resources for the common good in the past three years and seven months.
According to the APC chieftain, former President Obasanjo and former vice president Atiku owe Nigerians an explanation on what happened to the Petroleum Trust Development Funds (PTDF).
The PTDF was managed by the Office of the Vice President during the Obasanjo administration from 1999 – 2007.
Cautioning the electorate against making the mistake of returning the PDP to power on February 16, Tinubu urged Nigerians to reject the PDP and its candidate. He said they had nothing to offer but to auction the nation’s commonwealth.
In a sarcastic manner, he said: “People’s Destruction Party (PDP) has come again from all the nooks and crannies to lie to you. Poverty Development Party (PDP) is here again to tell you lies.
“One who is always busy with contentious business says he is running it. What does he know? What he has propagated is their container economy.
“They want to come back and sell our commonwealth. They promised to create two million jobs for you and nobody has asked them how.
“The questions we should ask are: When they were there with Obasanjo, how many jobs did they create? How many times did Obasanjo say Atiku stole PTDF’s money? The answer he always gave was that his former boss too stole money. Is this the kind of person you want to vote for?” Tinubu asked rhetorically.
He said that the PDP was responsible for fake tariff and estimated billing.
“Their actions to share the electricity company into GenCos and DisCos caused the hike in tariff and estimated billing,” he said, adding: “What is Atiku’s response and PDP’s? He said, ‘what is wrong if I share Nigeria’s resources with my friends?’ Is that what you want them to come back to do?”
On why Nigerians should re-elect Buhari, Tinubu said the President revived the agriculture sector and introduced the Anchored Borrowers’ Scheme, noting that both programmes generated over 5.8 million jobs.
He urged the Ekiti people to vote massively for Buhari on February 16 to enjoy more benefits of good governance.
Buhari also addressed the crowd of supporters and residents who thronged the 12,000-capacity Ekiti Parapo Pavilion in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. He renewed his promise to take Nigeria to loftier heights.
Admitting that fighting corruption has been difficult, the President vowed not to be dissuaded to rid the nation of graft in line with the promise he made in 2015.
Buhari said he was quite conscious of the promises he made while contesting four years ago, particularly the ones that had to do with corruption, insecurity and resuscitation of the economy.
The President said: “We are fighting corruption but it has not been easy. But we told the security agencies to keep watch and ensure that those who have cases to answer do not escape justice.
“As part of our promises, we are building roads, rail lines, fighting corruption. We introduced the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and increased power supply, so Nigerians can have their own businesses.
“I want to be grateful to Ekiti voters because the two times I came here, I achieved success. I came here in 2014 and I also came here to campaign for Fayemi; he won the governorship election. So, I’m here today to campaign for myself. I believed you are going to give us the vote to consolidate on our laudable and people-oriented projects.”
He sought the support of royal fathers for sustainable peace in Ekiti State and beyond.
To Oshiomole, Buhari remains the candidate to beat, owing to his achievements since 2015 in security, economy diversification, anti-corruption battles, job creation, agriculture and infrastructure among others.
The APC chair said: “Atiku has told us that if Nigerians mistakenly elect him, he would put Nigeria on sale. I believe Nigerians have made up their minds to return President Buhari, who they can trust, not the one whose business partners are in prison. William Jefferson, Atiku’s business partner is in prison for corruption charges …
“The problem we have had as a nation is lack of policy consistency and coherence. So, changing government every three and half years can only lead to confusion.
“Let us sustain it so that together Nigeria can move from a consuming country of imported product to a country that virtually consume what it produces,” he said.
Prof Osinbajo, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “$383 billion was realised from oil between 2010 and 2014 under Dr Goodluck Jonathan. That was when we had the highest but nothing was done with it.
The vice president said: “If that money had been utilised judiciously, all the roads, rail lines and employment we are creating would have long been in place for Nigerians.
“Buhari built three refineries as minister of Petroleum under the military era. No government has ever added one, not even during the 16 years of PDP.
“Don’t let them deceive you, vote for a President you can trust, that is President Buhari.”
Fayemi promised: “Our president will get 90 per cent of the votes on February 16.
“The government is planning to dualise Ado-Akure road, complete the federal housing units, the federal secretariat and the Lagos-Kano rail line. So, we have no option than to return President Buhari because Ekiti people are progressives.”
The highlight of the rally in Ekiti was the presentation of PDP defectors, including some members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
The lawmakers, who were led by Speaker Ebenezer Alagbada, are: Cecelia Dada (Ilejemeje State Constituency) and Olanrewaju Olayanju (Emure State Constituency.)