• Discuss developments in APC
• President blasts past govts
Barely one week after leaving Nigeria for the United Kingdom on vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the Abuja House, in London.
The Buhari-Tinubu meeting was made public through a photograph released by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina.
The photograph, which showed President Buhari adoring a caftan with a cap and Tinubu wearing a black jacket, had a caption: “President Buhari receives in audience Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in London on 15th Apr 2018.”
Buhari’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Bashir Ahmad, also confirmed the meeting on tweeter handle, @BashirAhmad, in Abuja, where he wrote: “President Muhammadu Buhari receives National leader of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (Jagaba) today in London.’’
Although details of the meeting were not made public, snippets gathered by Daily Sun revealed that Buhari and Tinubu discussed recent developments in the APC.
Sources revealed that the two APC leaders talked about the proposed national convention of the ruling party, especially the chairmanship position.
Tunubu is in the forefront of agitation for the exit of APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, which came to a head a few weeks ago when Buhari opposed tenure elongation earlier approved by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
It is believed that Tinubu wants Oyegun to be replaced by former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was said to have met with some aides of the president in Abuja last week on the project.
In yesterday’s meeting, it was gathered that the candidacy of Oshiomhole also came up, just like Buhari’s declaration for the 2019 presidency.
Sources revealed that since Buhari did not hint Tinubu about his intention to declare for 2019 president before he formally did, yesterday’s meting afforded him the opportunity to brief the former governor and solicited his support.
Meanwhile, Buhari took a swipe at past governments in the country, saying if half of money realised by the country during oil boom were invested, Nigeria would have been self-sufficient in food production.
Buhari also promised to do his best to justify the trust his supported reposed in him.
Speaking in London Sunday while receiving the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation, led by Mr. Charles Efe Sylvester, Buhari was quoted by Adesina as saying: “I am happy that people like you are here, on your own, defending the country. You have shown courage and sacrifice. I assure you that your confidence in us won’t be abused, we will do our best to justify it.”
The President noted that Nigeria was gifted with tremendous human and natural resources, but regretted that “failure of some of the leadership we had in the past led to our not being able to capitalize on resources to improve the lot of the people.”
Buhari reiterated that wicked people plundered the country, “and kept Nigerians poor,” adding that looking at the condition in which the current administration met the country, without savings and the economy badly vandalised, “we have not done too badly.”
Buhari stated that the damage done to the economy in the years of plunder was massive, and that government was doing its best to recover some of the loot, but noted that it was impossible to identify and recover all.
“If they had used 50 per cent of the money we made, when oil price was as high as $143 per barrel, and stabilised at $100 with production at 2.1 million barrels per day for many years, Nigerians would have minded their businesses. You could almost grow food on our roads, as they were abandoned. The stealing was so much, and they were so inept that they could not even cover the stealing properly. I wonder how all those things could have happened to our country,” the President said.
He commended the organisation for deciding to identify with the country, “when you could have stayed here, and being comfortable.”
The coordinator of the organisation said the group was happy with the achievements of the Buhari administration so far.
He noted: “You met a difficult situation, but you have overcome most of them. We are happy with the agriculture revolution, the ease of doing business, the anti-corruption war, the employment of youths through the N-Power programme, and the blockage of leakages in the public sector through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“We are proud of the speed with which you recovered the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. It shows you as a worthy general. We are happy that you have declared for 2019. Majority of Nigerians are happy, but agents of corruption and darkness are unhappy. The same God, who healed you when you were ill, will grant you victory in the 2019 elections. You are a General who does not fear combat, either with Generals or non-Generals. We declare our love and support for you. You are fixing the faulty foundations of our country and second term is when you will build the enduring structure.”