You can’t distract me, Buhari tells opposition

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday declared that the combined efforts of defectors and their backers in the opposition will not distract his administration from the good work it is doing for the benefit and development of Nigeria.
As a precursor to the 2019 general elections, some political office holders and their supporters recently switched camps.
Notable among the defectors are Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, and his Kwara counterpart, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who all dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Similarly, former Akwa Ibom state governor and member, National Assembly, Senator Godswill Akpabio moved to APC from the PDP.
However, while Akpabio resigned his position as Senate Minority Leader following his defection, Saraki still remains the Senate President, a development that has continued to generate serious controversy in the nation’s polity.
But all these, President Buhari assured, would not distract his administration.
Rather, he said, “for those who have decided to change camp for whatever reason, we wish them good luck.” He said the ruling party has the full understanding of Nigeria’s challenges, and that it is encouraged by the support of Nigerians in addressing them.
The President spoke at a lunch with some APC Governors accompanied by some state and federal lawmakers as well as their commissioners.
He said: ‘‘We are always encouraged when all our constituents are happy with the work we are doing and our genuine efforts to make sure that what we campaigned for in 2015 is still very much in our minds, and we have not lost focus.
‘‘In terms of security, economy and the fight against corruption we have maintained focus.
Even the opposition with all their resources cannot fault our identification of Nigeria’s priorities and the efforts being made to better them.
‘‘We will continue to do what we ought to do in the leadership position God has placed us, and we thank the constituents for the support,” he said.
Speaking during the visit, leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, commended the President for his great efforts in keeping the nation together through visionary leadership.
According to him, President Buhari has remained focused and unshaken by situations and circumstances, adding that “it shows that your administration is approved by God.” On the visit to the President, the governor said, “we are here to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing as Nigerians are very, very pleased with you.
We also want to inform you that we had wonderful and peaceful Sallah celebration across the country because of security of lives and property you have guaranteed in our nation.” Okorocha was accompanied on the visit by the Governor of Katsina, Hon.
Aminu Bello Masari, that of Kebbi, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Kano, Dr.
Umar Ganduje and Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger state.
‘Buhari government impactful’ Similarly, Director Media, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, has claimed that no president, since 1999, has touched the lives of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians like President Buhari.
He made the disclosure yesterday in Ilorin, at the inauguration of the Kwara state chapter of Buhari/Osinbajo Project 2019.
In his remarks at the occasion, Keyamo also said no government in the country recovered stolen money that belonged to Nigerians like President Buhari did.
According to him, the previous administrations established the worst system of government, based on sharing formula of the nation’s treasury.
He said: “They operated a system that ignored physical infrastructure in the country, that ignored the plight of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable in Nigeria.
“If you compare what accrued to the country in 16 years and what were done with the money earned in three years and infrastructure built by Buhari, you will see the difference.
“In 16 years, all they did in the South East was Onitsha-Owerri road, whereas in three years, President Buhari is doing four major road constructions in the region.” He said what Mr Buhari has done was to take the bullet from the rich to protect the poor.
“You have a president who has fought for you, why can’t you fight for him? This is the time he needs you more to fight for him.
It is reciprocal and that is why we must remind ourselves today why we must stand firmly behind him in 2019.
“I can tell that there is no government in the history of this country since 1960 that has addressed the plights of the poor, the vulnerable in the last three years than this government,” Keyamo further added.
He listed the administration’s intervention programmes for the poor and vulnerable which included the N5, 000 monthly stipends, feeding of over eight million school pupils and soft loans of between N250, 000 and N350,000 to small business owners.
“These social intervention programmes show that Buhari’s government is touching the lives of the poor than the rich,” the campaign spokesman further stressed.
Speaking further, Keyamo recalled that before the APC-led government came on board, over 24 state governments were unable to pay salaries of their workers.
He said the administration, with prudent management of resources, approved bailout funds to the states to clear the arrears and address their critical challenges.
Keyamo said, “we should not go back to that era of nonpayment of salary and suffering of the masses.” To the people of the state, he said the time had come to free themselves from slavery, from oppression and subjugation.
“You must fight for your liberation before you can be liberated, we must come together to salvage the state from the oppressor.
No man is god, no to hegemony in Kwara, you must stand firm, this is the time Kwara people are living Egypt for the promised land,” he said.
The inauguration was attended by chieftains of APC in Kwara state, including Iyiola Oyedepo, Simeon Ajibola and Musbau Esinrogunjo, Oba Abdulrahim and APC caretaker committee chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa.
(NAN) Defectors not fit into APC vision – Rep In a related development, the lawmaker representing AkokoEdo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Peter Akpatason, has said those defecting from the APC did not fit into the party’s vision.
Akpatason assured that the defectors would lose next year’s general election because they left good people in the APC to join bad people.
The lawmaker who spoke to reporters in Benin City, said the defectors won elections in 2015 because of the good people they met in the APC.
He said: “For you to effect development, you need the good, the bad and the ugly.
But in the process of development, you begin to see the good from the bad and the ugly.
“At some points, it becomes clear to some people that they do not fit into the system and that is what is happening now.
They jumped ship to where they actually belong to.
Some people jumped ship some years ago because they wanted to contest election and they thought it was the APC platform and also the Buhari Tsunami, including the dynamics of their local politics.
“PDP is a dumping ground for waste product and not a beautiful bride.
Somebody who decamped four years ago and is defecting now is a waste product.
They don’t have value to add to the system.
People of value that command respect do not defect, but only political merchants who see political parties as a platform

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