By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has described Monday’s flag-off of the presidential campaign of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which held in Sokoto, as a gathering of ‘gang of thieves’, who rented crowd from Niger Republic.
He also said the 2019 general election is a poll between thieves and trustworthy people.
Speaking on Tuesday in Kaduna at the inauguration of the campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, which held at the Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, the governor said the PDP has nothing to offer Nigeria, adding that the party’s ideology is nothing but looting.
El-Rufai said what the APC has been doing for the past three years is to fix the rot left behind by the 16 years of PDP misrule.
He said there is a lot to do to reset the country on the path of stability and posterity, adding that the PDP must not be allowed to return to power in 2019.
“The 2019 general election is a poll between trustworthy people and thieves, between patriotic leaders and those who went to Abuja to loot our treasury.
“So we have to stand up and show them that Kaduna is not a state that will allow them cheat the people and the masses.
“What we have done in Kaduna State in the last three years has shown that APC as a party is the one that loves the masses and assists the masses, not a party that will take public fund and share among the rich.
“That is why we want you people to go out and tell the people to vote President Muhammadu Buhari again,” el-Rufai said.
According to him, ”Thieves have ganged up against President Muhammadu Buhari. Yesterday (Monday), they were in Sokoto, and they rented crowd from Niger Republic just to show people that they have supporters, because Sokoto people refused to come out.
“So when it is time to launch President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign in Kaduna, people should come for the whole world to see that it is not Niger Republic people that are disguising as Nigerians.”
Speaking further, el-Rufai emphasised that: “We must show that we are in support of President Muhammadu Buhari, and when it is time to cast our votes, we should vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and all the APC candidates.”
He said his administration in Kaduna State anchored its agenda on putting people first.
“The APC in Kaduna has since May 2015 focused on running an equal opportunity government.
“We have tried to empower our people by anchoring our programmes on putting people first.
“We are making life better and reordering the priority of government to focus on human capital development. At the centre of this is education and health,” the governor said.
He said the task in 2019 is to continue to work towards the upliftment of the people.
“We cannot allow the people whose ideology is looting to return to power. The PDP has nothing to offer the people of Kaduna State and they have nothing to offer the rest of Nigeria.
“Over 16 years, they left most of our 4,250 primary schools (in Kaduna state) in terribly bad conditions; many did not have toilets, roofs, windows or doors.
“They left schools where more than half of the pupils had no desk or chairs. In some schools, a number of children sitting on the floor was more than 90 per cent,” he said.
The governor said: “The PDP left terribly bad health indices with high maternal and infant mortality and low investment on health.
“Many primary health centres were left as just buildings without staff and equipment. We are correcting all these mess. We are tackling fraud and waste. We have rescued all our local government councils from bankruptcy. When we came in, eight out of our 23 local government could not pay salaries.
“Today, each and everyone of them can pay salaries and have at least N50 million left every month.”
El-Rufai, who is the chairman of the campaign council, however urged members the council to get cracking and ensure victory for the APC at all levels during the general election.