Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has discredited criticisms of abysmal performance made against his government, saying he is proud of what he has achieved since 2015.
“We are very proud of our record from 2015 to date,” Buhari said on Sunday morning after accepting his nomination as the ruling All Progressives Congress’ candidate for the presidential elections in 2019.
“We can be proud of our achievements. CHANGE has come.”
Buhari was elected in 2015 on the wings of his promises to fix Nigeria’s economy, fight insecurity, especially the insurgency in the Northeast, and tackle corruption in government.
Although his government has earned thumbs ups on the fight against insecurity, the unending fatal clashes between farmers and herders have robbed his government of the gains made against Boko Haram.
While his anti-graft campaign has earned him praises from the likes of the United States president, Donald Trump, critics at home point to the sleaze allegedly perpetrated by members of his team without consequences.
Recently, one of his former ministers was accused of forging a National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate. The certificate is given to those constitutionally exempted from undergoing a one-year mandatory service to the country.
Kemi Adeosun, who was until last month Nigeria’s finance minister, acknowledged the document was fake and resigned. She was, however, allowed to leave Nigeria without prosecution.
Another minister Adebayo Shittu has also admitted to skipping the service. While the APC disqualified him from contesting the governorship primaries in his native Oyo State, the Buhari government has not taken any action against him.
In spite of these and other instances, Buhari said his government has performed better than the People’s Democratic Party ever did in the 16 years it ruled the country.
He insisted that his government has “arrested and checked the slide to anarchy on the security and economic fronts” and upped Nigeria’s capacity to meet 80 per cent of its rice need, and produce fertilisers.
The increase to 8000 megawatts, independent power projects in nine federal universities, and the school feeding programmes were also listed as parts of his achievements.
“We are attacking corruption head-on,” Buhari said.
“With international support, we are recovering Nigerian stolen assets and applying them to infrastructural developments.
“Today the corrupt are facing the wrath of law and leakages have been generally blocked (sic).”
Buhari will face off against whoever the PDP elects as its candidate at a primary that is currently on in Port Harcourt.
Three former members of Buhari’s party who defected between 2017 and 2018 are leading contenders in the election.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, and Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal are aiming to unseat Buhari, whom they have accused of mismanaging and polarising Nigeria in the next general elections.
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