Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja, with agency report
As the country awaits his new cabinet, President Muhammadu Buhari said he needs a formidable team to deliver his Next Level mandates to Nigerians.
Buhari said this when he met with the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) led by the Chairman, Omoniyi Akinsiju, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday,.
Also in the delegation was Tunde Thompson, who was imprisoned by the administration of then Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, under the draconian Degree 4 of 1983.
The journalist was The Guardian newspaper’s Diplomatic correspondent when he was arrested by the defunct National Security Organisation, alongside a former member of the House of Representatives, Nduka Irabor, who was then an assistant editor at The Guardian.
Thompson was sentenced to a year in prison, for writing about the closure and retirement of some diplomatic staff.
Regardless, Buhari told his guests that, as a team, they fought a good fight and won the race in the just-concluded elections.
He said: “Our government continues to grow in strength and will place a firm foundation for future generations.
“While there will be those who are determined to drag us back to the bad old days, your visit is timely. It is a exactly a month ago that I was sworn in for a second term in office. The task ahead for the four years will require a formidable team.
“I assure you that I am resolute on fulfilling these promises and will leave Nigeria a far better place than when we came.
“It is not an easy job to sell the administration’s services; we are doing unpopular things and facing powerful individuals and taking on invested interest who are accustomed to the corrupt era. But, we must do things the right way, if we promised change then we must deliver it. This is regardless of whose interest is touched. There must be a manifest departure from the old order.”
Earlier, Akinsiju informed the president that BMO “regularly commissions the writing and publishing of newspaper opinion articles and press statements, to elucidate and amplify government programmes and clarify on socio-economic and political issues being undertaken by the administration.
“Members have also appeared regularly on television and radio, to promote and defend the administration while maintaining an active presence on the social media on daily basis, engaging on issues affecting the president and his administration.”
The BMO boss said the Buhari administration has achieved more since the return to democracy in the country with abundance of facts to prove.
He said despite twisted narratives about clashes between farmers and pastoralists, “your administration has shown the most commitment towards ending these decades-long conflicts; it has produced several strategies and plans aimed at providing a sustainable resolution.”
In a similar development, the president said the time has come to serve Nigerians well since the 2019 elections “are behind us.”
He spoke at the Villa , yesterday, when he received the Buhari Support Group Centre,
He said: “The 2019 elections are behind us. Nigerians have spoken, and they have spoken loudly in our favour.
“It is now time to serve them, and serve well. We will not fail,” he said. We will serve honestly, genuinely, and with our heart and might. Our country has oscillated for too long at the level of promises and potentials. It is now time to explore and exploit the potentials for the good of all Nigerians, particularly the ordinary people. It shall be accomplished.”
The president commended members of the group for their “steadfastness,” and assured them of inclusiveness in pursuing the goal of good governance for the country.
“This group is composed of people who have identified with me since I threw my political hat into the ring in 2002. And, they stood with me through thick and thin, abiding with me in the electoral and legal processes of 2003, 2007, 2011, till God gave us victory in 2015, and also 2019.”