*President want historians to document 16yrs of PDP’s ‘squander-mania’
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Barely two days to the presidential election, twelve presidential candidates Thursday in Abuja withdrew from the race and threw their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The candidates, who were received by the president in the State House under the aegis of Forum of Presidential Candidates and Political Parties for Good Governance,were led by Shitu Mohammed Kabir of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).
In a statement, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari told his guests that there was a compelling need for historians and economists to document “the 16 years squander-mania and mismanagement” by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), so that future generations would not repeat the same mistakes.
According to the statement, the president further told the ex-presidential candidates that he was overwhelmed by their support and proceeded to lament the 16 years of the PDP.
He was quoted as saying, “I am overwhelmed by your patriotism. The least you could do was to deny me votes in your immediate constituencies. However much your people loved me, they would have voted for their own first. I am really overwhelmed by your support.
“We lost unimaginable revenue in the 16 years of mismanagement of the country by the previous PDP administrations. Look at the state of roads, rail, power, and infrastructure generally, as at 2015, when we came into office. The roads were not done, neither were they even maintained. The number of lives and property lost on Lagos/Ibadan Expressway on a daily basis, for instance, was very sad and tragic. And many other roads like that in the country.
“If the various administrations had fixed infrastructure, Nigerians would have simply minded their businesses. They wouldn’t bother about who even governs them. But the mismanagement was unparalleled. Our historians and economists should help document it, so that future generations would take note, and not repeat the mistakes.”
Adesina also said Buhari argued that after contesting elections four times, “before God agreed with me in 2015, I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do, and people are now seeing the progress we are making.”
According to the statement, Chairman of the Forum, Kabir, told Buhari that they decided to withdraw for him because of progress that had been made in security, economy, fighting corruption, infrastructural development, agricultural revolution, and many others.
“Nigerian political landscape is taking a new dimension…As a group of political parties committed to the realization of a new Nigeria, we identify with these laudable feats of the President, which are in proximity with ours, as exemplified in our manifestoes.
“We, therefore, wish to support President Buhari’s candidacy in the coming election, and direct all our teeming members across the length and breadth of Nigeria to go out in their numbers, to vote for APC candidates, Muhammadu Buhari/Yemi Osinbajo, in the coming election,” Kabir was quoted.
Adesina listed other candidates who endorsed Buhari aside Kabir to include: Hon Edozie Madu of Independent Democrats; Danjuma Mohammed of Movement for Restoration & Defence of Democracy; Yusuf Nadabo Dantalle of Allied Peoples Movement; Ahmed Buhari of Save Nigeria Party; and Alhaji Isah B. Dansarki of the Mass Movement of Nigeria.
Others are: Ikechukwu Nwaokafor of Advance Congress of Democrats; Alista Soyode of Yes Party; Barrister Charles Ogbali of Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party; Kenneth Ibe Kalu of United Peoples Congress; Comrade Isiyaka Paul Femili of Nigeria Element Progressive Party; and Robinson Akpu of National Democratic Liberty Party.