Secondus Accuses Buhari Of Intimidation, Challenges President On Achievements

 

Ahead of next month’s general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of planning to rig the polls.

PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, made the allegation on Thursday during a presidential campaign rally which held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

Addressing a crowd of party supporters and members, Secondus also challenged the current administration to reel out its achievements upon assuming office in 2015.

READ ALSO: Troops Dislodge Boko Haram From Baga, Other Areas

“We see the crowd of people here and they will see that we are talking to the people and canvassing for votes. Now APC is seating at home at the villa. What are they doing? They are planning to rig the election. Everyday they are planning to rig the election.

“They are not talking to the people. We challenge him to come out to talk to the people, to engage the people in matters of debate.

“I challenge the hierarchy and leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and I challenge Buhari to pick-point one achievement in this last four years. He has nothing. All he is doing is intimidation and lies and propaganda,” he said.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, addresses crowd of party supporters during the presidential campaign rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on January 10, 2019.

On his part, PDP Presidential candidate, Mr Atiku Abubakar criticised the Federal Government for failing to address the security challenges in parts of the country.

He reiterated his earlier commitment of encouraging youths and women in governance and decision making if elected into office.

“I have said I have committed 40 per cent of my government to the youths and 30 per cent to women. This is because I want you to succeed us. And if we don’t train you, if we don’t give you the experience, you are not going to take over from us,” he said.

Democracy Day: 19 Achievements President Buhari Listed In His Address

(File) President Buhari acknowledges his supporters during a visit to Jigawa State on May 14, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari swept to power in 2015, promising to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and boost Nigeria’s economy.

Three years later, the President has defended his performance and listed achievements of his administration.

In summary, the President believes he has stayed the course and is delivering the promised ‘Change’ to Nigerians.

“This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed Change, the Change we promised and the Change we continue to deliver,” the President said in his Democracy Day broadcast to Nigerians on Tuesday.

Here are areas the President believes his administration has recorded achievements and his quotes about them:

SECURITY

1. Tackling Boko Haram, Rescuing Captives

“Public safety and security remain the primary duty of this Government. Before this Administration came into being three years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several Local Governments in the North East.

“Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded leading to the re-establishment of authority of government and the release of captives including, happily, 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko Haram.”

2. Resettling IDPs

“In order to minimise the impact of the [Boko Haram] insurgency on Internally Displaced Persons, Government has established secure IDP Camps and has improved the mechanism for the distribution of basic aid, foods and essential commodities using various strategies in collaboration with local and international Organisations.

“Efforts are in process for resettlement of IDPs in their home communities by providing schools, hospitals, clinics, water and sanitation to facilitate a quick return to economic activities. Government is similarly implementing de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programmes to facilitate sustainable peace and development.”

3. Ensuring Peace In The Niger Delta

“The Niger Delta Region has enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the Elders and the good people of the region. Government is committed to implementing the comprehensive peace, security and development plan for the region.

“The environmental clean-up of the region which commenced with the launch in Bodo, Ogoni in June, 2016 is progressing satisfactorily. Furthermore farming assets are being revived and investors in cocoa and palm oil plantations are showing serious interest.”

CORRUPTION

“The second primary object of this Administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this Administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption.”

4. Implementing TSA

“The Treasury Single Account (TSA) has realized Billions of Naira being saved from maintenance fee payable to banks. N200 Billion has also been saved from elimination of ghost workers in public service.”

5. Utilising A Whistle-Blower Policy

“The Whistle-Blowing Policy has helped to recover over N500 Billion.”

6. Eliminating Ghost Workers

“The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs, ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government MDAs Payroll.”

7. Creation Of The Voluntary Assets And Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)
“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.”

8. Fighting Financial Crimes

“The fight against corruption through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has resulted in recoveries of billions of naira, as well as forfeiture of various forms of assets. This alongside other efforts has improved Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation.

“We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing Treaties, Conventions as well as Bilateral Agreements with Multilateral bodies and Nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.”

ECONOMY

9. Implementing The Economic Recovery And Growth Plan (ERGP), Increasing Capital Expenditure

“This Administration has therefore focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015. In 2016, Government executed an expansionary budget and developed the Strategic Implementation Plan. For the first time, 30% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure which represents an upward review when compared with the 2015 budget. The SIP was followed by the development of a comprehensive medium-term plan – the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020.

“The broad strategic objectives of the ERGP were to; Restore and sustain economic growth; Build a globally competitive economy; and Invest in our people. The implementation of the ERGP has started yielding results. The National Bureau of Statistics reports that the economy grew by 1.95% in 1st quarter 2018, which is a good performance when viewed against -0.91 in 1st quarter 2017 and -0.67% in 1st quarter 2016 respectively.”

10. Growing Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

“The Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio has been expanded with an injection of US$650 million so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, re-construction of Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla Hydro-electric Power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.”

11. Boosting The Country’s Foreign Reserves

“Our foreign reserve has improved significantly to 47.5 billion USD as of May 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in 2015. The inflationary rate has consistently declined every month since January 2017.”

12. Attracting Investment, Creating Jobs

“Recently, Government conducted Focus Labs in three key sectors of the Economy namely, Agriculture & Transport, Manufacturing and Processing as well as Power and Gas. These have yielded significant prospects for investments and Job creation to the tune of US$ 22.5 billion with a potential for creating more than 500,000 jobs by 2020. These investment generation initiatives are expected to increase capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment. There is a high prospect that the cumulative investments from this first phase of the Labs will hit US$39.2 billion by 2025.”

13. Cutting Down Rice Imports

“Under agriculture, Nigeria continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency. As a result, rice importation from other countries has been cut down by 90% which has a direct impact on foreign reserves.”

14. Eliminating Poverty Through The Social Investment Programmes (SIP)

“The major strategic objective is to restore livelihood, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor across the country. The SIP programmes and projects include:

“a. Home Grown School Feeding Programme – About 8.2 million pupils are currently being fed from 24 States of the Federation with over 75,000 Catering Staff engaged under the programme.

“b. The Conditional Cash Transfer has so far recorded over 297,000 caregivers and being trained by 2,495 Community Facilitators in 21 states. Less privileged Nigerians are now being paid N5,000 monthly stipend in 9 pilot States of Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. Eventually, the scheme will cover all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.

“c. Under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme – About 264,269 loans had been disbursed to 4,822 societies in the 36 States and FCT, while another 370,635 are awaiting the release of funds.

“d. N-Power Job creation Scheme – is targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates and has so far recruited 200,000 youths while the next batch of 300,000 has been selected, verified and would soon be deployed across the 36 States and the FCT. Furthermore, 20,000 non-graduate volunteers have also been selected to kick off the N-Build programme in collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.”

15. Boosting power generation capacity to over ‘7,500 MW’

“The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitation by Government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW.”

16. Transport Sector Reforms

“The Transportation Sector continues to undergo a series of reforms in order to sustain the international best practices and ensure safety and security. The nation’s major airports have witnessed reconstruction of runways, installation of navigational equipment and new international terminals due for commissioning in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu. Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of other countries will significantly open up new flight route.

“As a result of strict regulatory and compliance policies, Nigeria retained her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine international audit. Recently, a new Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility with capacity for aircraft C-checks, and other comprehensive levels of maintenance was established in Lagos. This would save the country an estimated $90m annually.

“Giant strides have been recorded over the past three years to improve road transport infrastructure in all geopolitical zones of the country.”

17. Implementing New Education Initiatives, Approving Licences For New Higher Institutions

“The Education Sector, especially at tertiary level, has continued to witness expansion in order to improve access to higher education by millions of youths in Nigeria. Over the last three years, Government has approved the establishment of 1 new Federal Polytechnic, granted licenses for the establishment of 4 State and 14 private-owned Universities as well as 12 private Polytechnics.

“Government has also continued to support the implementation of various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Basic Education delivery. Thus, it has ensured proper funding at the Basic Education level with the disbursement of N42.2 billion UBE Matching Grant to 26 States and the FCT, N851.5 million Special Education Grant disbursed to 23 States and private providers of Special Education and N2.2 billion Teachers Professional Development Fund to 33 States and the FCT.

18. Granting Bailouts To States

“The Federal Government has continued to support fiscal sustainability at the sub-national governments through the implementation of the Budget Support Facility which was accompanied by the 22- point Fiscal Sustainability Plan. Thus, bailouts funds were made available to States to ease their fiscal challenges and other obligations including payment of salaries.”

19. Executing Scores Of Ecological Fund Projects

“A total of 73 Ecological Fund projects for the control of gully erosion in different communities across all geopolitical zones have been completed in the last three years and are undergoing commissioning while 53 other projects are ongoing. The execution of these projects has generated 357 skilled jobs and 1,350 unskilled jobs during this period.”

APGA Endorses Jonathan For Second Term, As TAN Rallies South-South

APGA-TANSolidarity for President Goodluck Jonathan has started pouring in from different quarters.

The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria and members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, both have endorsed President Jonathan for a second term.

At different rallies held in Port Harcourt and Anambra State, both groups unanimously agreed that one good term deserves another.

Thousands of transformation ambassadors gathered at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt Rivers State to ask the President to re-contest the presidency come 2015.APGA

It was the third in the nationwide solidarity campaign for the President’s re-election bid in 2015, organized by the Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria.

With solidarity songs and placards displaying their love, delegates from the South South region of Nigeria took turns to climb the podium as they pledged their allegiance to the man they call an agent of change.

Millions also signed the big book to show their seriousness in backing President Jonathan for another term. So far over 4 million signatures from the South-South region have been gathered.

Meanwhile, in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, South-East Nigeria, it was a different gathering but one that tells the same story.

APGAMembers of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, gathered to rally the support of their members to endorse President Jonathan for a second term.

The National Chairman of the party, Victor Umeh, while speaking at the rally said, “Ever since 2011, APGA has remained a strategic partner to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Nigeria.

“We have, as party leaders, at various times, spoken unequivocally of our support for President Goodluck Jonathan.

“In 2013, there was a governorship election in Anambra State, and from what we have seen in Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan’s watch, credible and free election is now the order of the day…Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria.”

The party, therefore, believes that one good term deserves another.

“Looking at the political template in Nigeria today, we are certain that President Goodluck Jonathan needs to be re-elected for another 4 years in office,” Umeh told the gathering.