“We have no other country, let us not set it ablaze because of politics,” he told supporters of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC)
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to politicians to conduct their electioneering with decorum and avoid setting the county ablaze.
“We have no other country, let us not set it ablaze because of politics,” he told supporters of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), top party officials and government functionaries, when he kicked off his campaign for re-election in 2019, with the launch of a “Campaign Manual/Next Level document” at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, yesterday.
1. Buhari at "Next Level" 2019 campaign launch
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“I am not unmindful that the National Assembly and the presidential campaign starts today; I will implore candidates to go about the campaigns peacefully and decently.”
Buhari said his biggest ambition is to overhaul the education sector.
“Every child counts – and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country will be done. We will remodel 10,000 schools every year and retain our teachers to impart science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics using coding, animation, robotics to reinterpret our curriculum.”
He described corruption as an existential threat to Nigeria.
“Despite the gains we have made in closing the gates, we know that there is still much ground to cover to stop the systemic corruption. We are committed to deepening the work we started this first term such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organised and utilised to do good for the common man.
“The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria – making a break from its tainted past, which favoured an opportunistic few.
“Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward.”
Buhari also stated that his administration has delivered on its three campaign promises of fighting corruption, insecurity and revamping the economy.
He said 17 local governments have been delivered from insurgency in the Northeast.
According to him, while the road has been difficult in the last three and half years, his administration has laid the foundation for a prosperous society.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in his opening remarks described the various social investment programmes of the government, especially the TraderMoni policy as the worst nightmare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He also noted that the policy through careful implementation has impacted more lives than the immediate past administration.
The SGF equally revealed that he was first skeptical when he learnt of the emergence of former vice president Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP but that his fears had been doused with unfolding developments within the polity.
He said contrary to insinuations that the Buhari had performed below expectations, over 200 policy programmes have been implemented impacting Nigerians directly and indirectly.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who made a presentation on “What we are building 1”, said some of the projects executed under the administration, 365 road projects were under construction in all parts of the federation.
He said 244 of such projects were initiated in 2001 under the opposition but that the ruling party has been making concerted efforts to complete them within the last three and half years.
Minister of Transportation and Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi who spoke on “What we are building 2”, said the Lagos-Ibadan rail tracks was 80 percent completed while the Itakpe-Warri rail lines will soon begin operations.
According to him, the Federal Government spends about N40 million subsidizing passenger fares for Abuja-Kaduna standard rail, which has transported over a million passengers since it started operations.
In a swift reaction, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation dismissed the “Next Level” campaign of the APC as mere propaganda.
According to the PDP standard bearer, the presentation is vague on policy and big on promises.
“Promises are cheap. Anyone can make promises and indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress did make quite a number of promises which they either denied or did not fulfil, such as the promise to create three million jobs per annum and to equalise the value of the naira with the dollar.
“However, policies are the plans and roadmaps that will be used to achieve those promises. Promises made without policies are like a house without a foundation, they will fall. And we have seen proof of that in Nigeria in the last three years.
“Without a concrete policy, these ‘Next Level’ promises are nothing more than Next Level propaganda. We counsel the Buhari campaign that the time for propaganda has gone and Nigerians are now interested in proper agenda.”
‘Oby’ Ezekwesili flags off campaign
In a related development, presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili for President organization (Hope 2019) campaign kicked-off officially yesterday with a thanksgiving service in Abuja, after which the candidate will go to her home state, Anambra, to officially get blessings from the royal father and other elders of her community.
“We are excited and we can’t wait,” said Aisha Yesufu, who is Director of Special Projects for the campaign.
“The best MAN for the job in 2019 is definitely a woMAN and this woman we know by her track record, will #Fight4Naija.”