Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Chairman, Central Working Committee of the Women and Youth Presidential Campaign team, Buba Marwa, has boasted that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will not pose any threat to President Muhammadu Buhari in next month’s presidential poll, stressing that Buhari will defeat Atiku in his home Adamawa State.
The former military governor of Lagos State who spoke in Abuja, admitted that although some retired army generals were against the re-election of President Buhari, many however were solidly behind him, revealing that plans were in place to lead a delegation to notable generals like Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida among others.
Clearing the air on the composition of two presidential campaign organisations, Marwa revealed that funding the campaign will depend entirely on voluntary donations from members, stressing that President Buhari would not bankroll the campaign from government coffers.
Reacting to the possibility of President Buhari defeating Atiku in Adamawa, Marwa, a native of the state, said: “President Buhari will win Adamawa State. I am not going to disclose our strategy for doing that, but you can go to the bank that Buhari will defeat Atiku in his home town in Adamawa. He will not only win him in Adamawa but also at the national level.”
On the lack of support from retired generals and whether he will visit Obasanjo and Babangida during their door-to-door campaign, he said: “We will visit everybody in our door-to-door campaign including visiting Obasanio in Otta and Babangida in Minna.
“But if we go and knock and somebody refuses to open his door, in democracy, it is the people that ultimately have the final say. This is what we are out to promote. It is also wrong to conclude that all the retired generals are against him. Yes, some are not in support but many of them are with him,” he quipped.
He equally spoke on the worrisome state of insecurity in the North East, arguing that it had improved, just as he explained that Boko Haram occupied and used his house in Adamawa as an operational base during the PDP government.
“I am thoroughly in full command or understanding of what is going on there. Not only have I served in the Nigerian Army but a commanding officer in that zone. I am a student of counterinsurgency in Staff College. The counter-insurgency operation is not a 90 minutes football match. Security has definitely improved from what it was when this government took over.
“In my own local government in Adamawa, the Boko Haram actually occupied my house and it was their base for over eight months, but they have been thrown away today and reduced to nothing now and hold no grounds.
“He equally recorded landmark achievements in other areas of security challenges. The moment they procure more weapons very soon, the issue of security will be dealt a severe blow,” he said.
On how the campaign organisations intend to raise funds for their political rallies, he said: “The drivers of the campaign from the BMO to other affiliates are voluntary. Ours is not driven by money movement. There will, of course, be donations like the N100 from individuals, but for the government of President Buhari to dip his hands inside government coffers, will never happen. Everyone has the confidence that it is the fact. The bulk of our funding will come from voluntary donations.”
Asked how the campaign team intends to confront Nigerians with the impression that there is too much hunger in the land, Marwa said: “What we should understand is that it takes years of maturity for crops to bear fruits especially when the soil needs to be nurtured. Because of what the present government met on ground, many Nigerians will know that the situation did not come from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He is building the foundation and by the time he comes back to consolidate, we are going to enjoy the harvest.
“Some states have taken fundamental steps to ginger the economy. For instance, we used to be a mono-cultural economy country but we have diversified now to agriculture, solid mineral and we don’t import rice again.
“The farmers in their teeming millions are beneficiaries; our foreign exchange is conserved. No president has faced the common man like the vice president did, moving around the markets, mingling with the traders and giving out money. It has never happened before.
“What of the school feeding programme where over 300,000 are engaged. We also look at the credit facilities which are areas that have imparted on Nigerians. We will also remind them of the social investment programme. These are the areas we will demonstrate in our door-to-door campaigns that efforts have been made to lay the foundation and show that something has been happening. President Buhari’s integrity is the key selling point.
“Governance in Nigeria is associated with loss of integrity which is what President Buhari enjoys 100 per cent. Everyone believes in him and his integrity. There is going to be more jobs, investments, more credit facilities for small and medium scale enterprises,” he assured.