By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that fighting corruption in a nation like Nigeria is not an easy task.
Buhari, while addressing a mammoth crowd of party supporters and admirers who thronged the Ekiti Parapo pavilion, venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign rally Tuesday, said he would never be dissuaded to rid the nation of graft in line with the promise he made in 2015 to banish corruption in the land.
President Buhari said he was quite conscious of the promises he made while contesting four years ago, particularly the ones that have to do with corruption, insecurity and economic diversification.
He said: “We are fighting corruption but it has not been easy. But we told the security agencies to keep tab on those on our watch list and ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that those who have cases to answer do not escape justice.
“As part of our promises, we are building roads, rail lines and fighting corruption. We introduced Treasury Single Account and increased power supply, so Nigerians can have their own businesses.
“I want to be grateful to Ekiti voters, because the two times I came here, I achieved success. I came here in 2014 and I also came here to campaign for Fayemi, he won the governorship election, so I thank you.”
At the rally, some members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) joined the APC.
The lawmakers, who were led by the Speaker, Hon. Ebenezer Alagbada, were Hons Cecelia Dada representing Ilejemeje constituency and Olanrewaju Olayanju from Emure constituency.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who addressed the crowd in Yoruba, said: “A sum of $383 billion was realised from oil between 2010 and 2014 under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. That was when we had the highest amount but nothing was done with it.
“If that money had been utilised judiciously, all the roads, rail lines and employment we are creating would have long been in place for Nigerians. Buhari built three refineries as Minister of Petroleum under military era. No government has ever added one, not even during the 16 years of PDP.
“Don’t let them deceive you, vote for a president you can trust, that is President Buhari.”
Osinbajo added that youth employment is paramount to Buhari’s
government, saying this accounted for why the administration brought about N-power scheme to empower the young graduates.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, said it would be a big mistake if Nigerians elect the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, in the February 16 poll.
Before receiving the defectors, Oshiomhole said Atiku owes Nigerians explanation over the alleged stealing of millions of dollars belonging to the
Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) which he superintended over during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“How many times did Obasanjo said Atiku stole PTDF’s money? The answer he always gave was that his former boss too stole money. Is this the kind of person you want to vote for?” He queried.
The APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Afenifere leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi; and former Osun Governor, Chief Bisi Akande, described the Reuben Fasoranti-led faction of the group, which had earlier endorsed Atiku as political jobbers, who shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Also present at the rally were Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) , Ibikule Amosun(Ogun), former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; and Mr Olusola Oke, among others.