By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A group loyal to the Senate President , Dr. Bukola Saraki, which operates under the auspices of Coalition of Saraki Advocates for Atiku (COSAA), has said President Muhammadu Buhari failed in his bid to turn around Nigeria because he was surrounded by corrupt politicians. The group urged Nigerians to brace up for a serious challenge ahead of 2019 elections, expressing fear that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC ) has not been truly independent under President Buhari.
The group said the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar remains the best for Nigeria in 2019, saying Buhari has compromised his integrity by fraternising with corrupt political bigwigs to ride to power in 2015 and this it said had impeded him from realising the objective of ridding country of corruption.. He urged Buhari-led government to propel local production of petroleum , rather than deceiving Nigerians by contemplating pump price reduction to get votes in 2019. Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday , the group’s Southwest Coordinator , Com Oba Adelusi, said Buhari allegedly came into power with scores of corrupt aides, whom he said had fettered his hands and hindered him from prosecuting his anti-graft war in the most potent way .
He said the group’s plan is to mobilize 24 million votes for Atiku in 2019 to show that apolitical Nigerians have power to unseat a sitting President. Justifying his fear that the coming election may be rigged, Adelusi said the manner through which Osun and Ekiti governorship elections were won by All Progressives Congress (APC) were enough signposts that the nation’s electoral system had been desecrated. Adelusi said the two elections had cast doubt on the credibility of INEC , calling on Nigerians to be ready to ensure that their votes count. “Before ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku came into office, Nigeria was sick and we agreed that the diseases were not well tackled. Same goes to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. “When Muhammadu Buhari took over, though Nigeria was sick but we expected him to take care of Nigeria as a sick baby by consulting medical doctor who could heal it. He decided to lock the baby inside and took persecution of the PDP members as his ultimate goal. “The PDP and APC are now coalescing to rescue already collapsed Nigeria. Senator Saraki decided to join APC because he believed the PDP was not doing enough and APC had even done worse now.
“We are not saying President Buhari should not fight corruption, but he should not be selective. President Buhari knew Nigeria was sick before he came on board, but a lot of people would have been tried for alleged corruption when Senator Saraki was being tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. “With Ekiti and Osun elections, no one can trust APC with elections. They needed a rugged personality like Atiku to be able to confront APC. “President Buhari started on a bad note by appointing round pegs in square holes. He put a Lawyer like former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in the Ministry of Works, why not Ministry of Justice? “By 2019, we don’t need to trust politicians again for too long. We did that for PDP for 16 years and for Buhari, time to send away APC is 2019 , because this should serve as a lesson that whoever fails the people by reneging on his promises would be booted out of office”.
Adelusi said though they are not members of PDP but insisted Atiku remains the best for Nigeria in 2019, having garnered experiences from the PDP and APC which had made him be effective as a President of a complex nation like Nigeria. “He joined Action Congress founded by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to contest the 2007 presidential election. He returned to PDP and back to APC to help Buhari won the 2015 election. So, Atiku is a progressive by any standard. He understands Nigeria and he will do better if elected in 2019”, he said.