- Tinubu Describes Obasanjo as the Greatest Election Rigger
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong, Gboyega Akinsanmi and Segun
President Muhammadu Buhari has again stated the resolve of his administration to bring to book anyone with a proven case of corrupt enrichment, vowing that it was his sacred duty to send them to prison.
Buhari whose schedule in Lagos included a meeting with the business community and a visit to the Palace of the Oba of Lagos, arrived the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere venue of the campaign at about 3.30pm. After thanking the people for defying the hot weather to receive him, he said he did not have much to add to the achievements of the adminstration which had already been enumerated by Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing and co-Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We have made tremendous progress on the promises that we made to you in 2015. We will maintain the focus. We will continue to fight corruption, prosecute anyone found guilty and get them imprisoned. It is our duty and responsibility. I urge you to vote APC from top to bottom in the elections.”
Buhari who is seeking a re-election scored himself high on efforts to bring a positive turn-around on the economy, securing the nation and providing jobs. The President spoke for about two-minutes.
Mr. Fashola had earlier explained that the party’s campaign slogan, ‘Next Level’; held promises for more jobs and prosperity for all. Citing the example of the Mambilla Power Project, he said the project will require 18 million bags of cement, 42000 iron and require 22500 trucks to move. He said the project will create millions jobs. He also hinted at at approval to renovate all federal government owned buildings, saying the president had already approved the maintenance which provide jobs to all categories of artisans including plumbers, carpenters, electricians and painters.
According to the Minister of Transportation and Director General of the of the APC Presidential Campaign, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the 2019 general election is a fight between the rich and the poor. He said the Buhari-led administration is on the side of the poor. Amaechi announced that the massive investment in rail transportation will not only provide jobs, but revolutionise the economy. “We recently launched the Iju (Lagos) to Abeokuta. We are taking that one all the way to Ibadan and it must be ready by April. I have told them to carry people free for three months before they start charging fares. Itakpe to Warri is running. We are to have Lagos to Maiduguri and Lagos to Calabar. This government is working seriously for the people of this country.”
Reassuring the international community that the federal government was committed to a free and credible election, the National Chairman of the APC, Mr. Adam Oshiomhole said his party has no history of rigging election. “We do not believe in violence. On Feb 16, it will be a time for the people of Nigeria to show again that they have faith in President Buhari. The odds are in our favour. Contrary to the widely held notion, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been absolutely unfair to the APC. If it is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In Zamfara, we have been told we cannot contest the election because we did not hold a primary. There was primary in Zamfara and the court has said so, but INEC prefers to obey another court. We will join issues with INEC. We are products of they would have been shouting blue murder. We are products of struggle. The court has said we did elections, INEC prefers to believe the one that said we did not.”
In line with Oshiomole’s reasoning, the National Leader of the APC and co-Chairman of the party’s presidential campaign, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu said foreign observers who wanted to come to Nigeria were free “to come and see things for themselves and write their reports. But it is not foreigners who fought for this democracy. Lagos is very sure to vote APC. This is our democracy. We will defend it. When the late President Umaru Yar’Adua of blessed memory was asked about the election that brought him to office, he confessed that it was flawed.” He then asked the crowd, ” who conducted the Yar’Adua election?” “Obasanjo!’ They thundered back at him. “Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger,” Tinubu retorted as he left the stage.
He noted that Nigeria would not accept the type of crisis that had trailed the last United States presidential election which the country alleged that Russia Interfered in his poll.
“We welcome the plan by the foreign observers to monitor the poll. After that, they should write their report and leave.
“Since the last USA election, they are still questioning the alleged interference by the Russian government in their democracy. This is Nigeria and it is our democracy.”
On the poll, he asked Nigerian not to accept promises made by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, saying, the party has done nothing for the country.
Tinibu charged prospective voters to cast their ballot for the APC in the forthcoming election.
Tinubu ,while addressing the crowd of supporters, said that the opposition in 16 years failed to put Nigeria on a pedestal of growth with enormous resources.
He said the Buhari administration had done a lot with meagre funds and resources just in four years.
“Today is a demonstration of democracy and it is not all about President Muhammadu Buhari. Lagos is very sure for voting Buhari and APC largely in the next election.
“All the common men belong to this economy, they must share part of the democracy, we must improve the infrastructure, that is the only way we must creat jobs,” Tinubu said.
He said Buhari in his campaign in 2015, made promises,which he had fulfilled since he assumed office.
Tinubu noted that if the opposition had been dedicated to power generation in their 16 years rule, investors thst left the country before 2015, would have remained in the country.
“When I was governor of Lagos State for 8 years, I introduced industrial power generation system.
“Obasanjo and Atiku opposed it, I went to court and with the help of Prof.Yemi Osinbajo, we won.
” Please do not vote for him (Atiku),”.
Tinubu also sensitised the people on how to cast their votes on election day, saying “today, I want to teach the opposition a lesson”.
” Vote appropriately in the ballot paper for the APC and avoid your vote been voided.
” Use your index finger instead of your thumb and ensure you wait till the votes are counted.
Earlier, the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, reiterated the commitment of the state to unalloyed support of President Buhari
“We appreciate the President in the last three and half years. The 2019 election is not about tribe and religion, but it’s all about job , economy and infrastructure.
“In Lagos, Airport road is making life comfortable for every Lagosians. PMB has refunded some of the money we used for projects in Lagos.
“We need to continue in that direction. The president has created the ground work for growth in the country.”
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode also assured President Muhammadu Buhari that residents in Lagos would troop out enmasse on February 16 and deliver the State to him and other National Assembly candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the APC Presidential Mega Rally, held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, said the President in the last three and half years fully supported the infrastructural growth in the State and would do more if given another mandate of four years.
According to him, the February 16 election was not about tribe or religion, but strictly about job creation, infrastructural development and economic growth, saying that President Buhari has shown total commitment to making life comfortable for residents.
“In and outside of the stadium, you can see the crowd that has turned out here and we are very grateful that Lagos has been signed, sealed and delivered to APC already. The message is very clear.
“We appreciate Mr. President for his support to our State in the last three and half years. The achievements that we have recorded in Lagos were possible because of his support. This election is not about tribe or religion, it’s about infrastructure, jobs and the economy and the right path to go is to go to the APC.
“if you see what we are doing in Lagos already, you will see that the Airport road is not for the Yorubas or the Igbos or the Hausas, its about making life comfortable for Nigerians and that is why Mr. President has continually supported all our projects by even refunding some of the funds we used for capital projects so that we can complete more projects,” Governor Ambode said.
He said it was important for Nigerians to entrust President Buhari with another four years in office to continue in the trajectory of growth, warning that the return of the opposition party would do nothing but alter the progress made by the Federal Government so far.
“If you remember, the first two years of this administration we were in recession caused by the PDP, but in the last two years, we have stabilized, we have created the groundwork for growth and that is where APC is different from the PDP. They will tell you that they want to make Nigeria work again, but ask them who destroyed Nigeria in the first place?
“Therefore, this election is about moving the economy forward and for this to be possible, we need to continue on the foundation that we have already made in the last four years. APC remains one party, we remain one nation and one family,” the Governor said.
Buhari, who made his entrance into the venue of the rally at about 2:45pm to a tumultuous welcome by the teeming crowd and party faithful, assured that Lagos as commercial capital of Nigeria would continue to receive greater attention in terms of infrastructural renewal and all round economic growth.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier arrived Lagos to a rousing welcome by party faithful and others as part of the continuation of his re-election campaign in the February 16, presidential election.
The presidential entourage which landed at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, at 10.13am amidst tight security aboard a Nigerian Air Force Boeing aircraft with registration number 5N-FGT arrived to a rousing welcome by some All Progressives Congress chieftains and supporters.
The President who was received by Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos; Abiola Ajimobi, Ogun state; Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo state and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, left the airport for the palace of the Oba of Lagos before making a brief stop at the Lagos House official resident of the Governor of Lagos at Marina.
Others who received him at the airport were the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu and the Lagos State APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
At the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akiolu, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of his words noted that the body of traditional rulers in the state were happy to receive the president whom he said would be reelected at the polls.
Akiolu told the President not to fret as the election would be a repeat of his 2015 electoral victory.
“Give Buhari another chance and you will see how Nigeria will move forward,” Akiolu said.
The Oba also commended a son of the soil, former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola whom he insisted has been doing a fantastic job as the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, adding that there has been improvement in the electricity.
The teeming crowd of APC supporters who had thronged the Teslim Balogun Stadium from all corners of the state since the early hours of the morning were entertained by Fuji music superstar, Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe, better as K1, who is an acknowledged supporter of the APC.
Earlier, the restriction placed on certain on motorists from plying certain routes was lifted and only streets adjoining the venue were cordoned. At 2.30pm, the helicopter carrying President Muhammadu Buhari was sighted hovering over the venue. He entered the venue at 2.45pm.