From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhamnadu Buhari has revalidated his membership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in his constituency in Daura, Katsina State, even as he declared that no longer would people be endorsed from Abuja.
The president who was accompanied by APC Caretaker Committee members, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, governors and other party members, said his objective was to ensure that the party is returned to the people at the grassroots by starting from bottom up from polling unit to ward to the local government, state level and then to the federal.
His words: “No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party. Without any incentive they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you and the party, will feel secure and comfortable because the old time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available.
“The problem is that I will like, especially, the elites to please be reflective. When we came, where we were, the resources available from them and the condition of the infrastructure, I was contrived to go over it several times to tell Nigerians that between 1999 and 2014, let them check with the NNPC, let them check with the governor of Central Bank, production was 2.4 million barrels per day and the average cost was $100 per barrel. So for a year’s daily production, Nigeria would earn having 2.4×100 dollars everyday. But look at the condition of infrastructure; you know this better than I do.
“I know I went to every local government of the country in my three consecutive attempts to become the President. You know the road more than I do. You know the condition of the rail; the railway was dead.
“When we took over the administration, production went down to about half a million barrels per day, the price collapsed. We had to do what is called a bailout, wherever we got the money from. Upon all the money from 1999 to 2014 we gave out money from the Centre to pay salaries. No, Nigerian elites are not interested in rating the competence but they are interested in harassing us with all efforts we are making.
“You, who are in the field in charge of your constituencies, you have to make efforts to convince the elites to please give us the due relevance and respect we deserve that we are working so hard with limited resources.”
Buhari thanked the Senate President and the governors for accompanying him to his constituency to register as the President and member of the party. He described their coming as a morale booster.