By Akanimo Sampson
Re-election seeking President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, failed to rise beyond pedestrian politics as thousands of the state residents who thronged the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo to witness the flag off of his Presidential campaign went home disappointed.
They had expected that President Buhari would take advantage of the rally to unveil development projects for the state and the entire environmentally despoiled oil and gas region.
Sadly for them, Buhari who addressed the gathering for less than five minutes did not make any promise to them nor speak about any ongoing project in the state.
Local sources say party supporters who went to the stadium as early as 7 AM were also disappointed that there was no Federal Government project in the state embarked upon by the APC administration under Buhari’s watch except for few appointments given to some indigenes of the state.
Buhari shied away from making any promise or commitment to the state if reelected or talk about sitting or completion of any federal government project in the state. He merely challenged those who doubt the contributions of his administration to the development of the country to recall that in 2015 he campaigned on three issues: security, economy and fighting corruption.
‘’We promised to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and improve the economy, and as you can see, Boko Haram is no longer in control of Borno state, they have rather resorted to indoctrinating young men and women to go on suicide bombing. By the grace of God we are going to clear them off’’, he said.
Continuing, the president who was not inspiring said when he assumed office Boko Haram was controlling 17 local government areas in Borno and Yobe states but today they are no longer incharge of any; and promised to bring an end to the terrorist group if reelected in 2019.
On the economy, Buhari said Nigeria have attained food security and pointed out the the problem of unemployment facing the country is as a result of 60 per cent of the population are youths and they need jobs and on the fight against corruption, he declared that he will not stop the fight against corruption and announced that soon Nigerians will be informed of how much have been recover and from whom.
‘’I will not stop arresting corrupt politicians. Very soon i will inform Nigerians of funds recovered from looters. I will ensure that i recover Nigeria and no Nigerian will ever regret voting me and the APC. We will not go back on single treasury account, it is meant to ensure transparency, because every federal government money that goes in there can easily be traced’’, Buhari said.
While begging the electorate to vote for him in 2019, he said his focus will still remain security, economy and corruption; and assured that no Nigerian will regret his reelection.
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu praised the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in Akwa Ibom under Obong Victor Attach and Godswill Akpabio, pointing out that the growth, progress and development of the state are visible all over.
Tinubu said in 2015, Nigerians were yearning for change and ineptitude and for the sake of the country Buhari should be reelected as the party will give the people hope as well as diversity the economy.
Director General of Buhari Campaign Organisation and Transportation Minister Chibuike Amaechi insisted that the APC has delivered on her electoral promises to Nigerians in 2015: economy, security and fight against corruption.
Amaechi denied that the party promised to make the naira equivalent to the dollar, and bring down the price of petrol to N40, noting that the opposition have testified to the fact that President Buhari was fighting corruption and is not corrupt but they only complained that those around the president are corrupt.
The presidential flag-off rally however, terminated the controversy over who are the governorship candidates of the party in Cross River and Rivers states.In Cross River, Niger Delta Affairs Minister Usani Usani has been claiming to be the authentic candidate via a court ruling while Senator Magnus Abe has also been claiming he is the candidate for Rivers.
National Chairman of the party Adams Oshiomhole presented APC’s flag to Nsima Ekere, Akwa Ibom; Senator John Owan Enoh, Cross River; Chief Great Ogboru, Delta, and Tonye Cole, Rivers as the governorship candidates for South-South in next year’s elections.