From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, took a swipe on the past administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying they ‘tormented’ Nigerians for 16 years for their misrule. Buhari make the remark during his meeting with 103 monarchs across Oyo State at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan. The traditional rulers were led to the meeting by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, who appealed to President Buhari to support Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who is the APC candidate for Oyo South senatorial district to emerge as Senate President, having been in the red chambers between 2003 and 2007. The meeting preceded the presidential campaign rally held at the popular Mapo Hall Arcade in Ibadan, where Buhari reassured Nigerians that he would fight corruption to a standstill, adding that the anti-graft campaign of his administration in less than four years has culminated in rapid transformation of the country.
Addressing the traditional rulers, Buhari said: “I am here to warn you to please reflect on the conditions we met this country in 2015, where we are now and what we are able to do even with the little available resources to us. I challenge anybody to go and check, for 16 years of PDP Nigeria was earning good money but the state of our infrastructure and of our people was worse when we came. The roads, the rail were in decay and there was no power. Along the line, some of them admitted that they spent $16 billion on power and yet to no avail.”
“I assure you that our plan is to secure the country and improve on the economy and things that will rub on the life of the people. You all know these things more than I do because you sit more around your people day-in and day-out,” Buhari added. Alaafin described Buhari as a man of history and probity, adding that Obas were unanimous in their decision to support APC due to the good deeds of the government to better the lots of the people.
His words: “When Ajimobi came, he met a regime of ‘garrison command’ and changed it to a haven of peace. And with his transformation agenda, he has transformed the state to a Mecca of investors.
“The 103 traditional chiefs’ presence here today to receive you is an indication of the performance of your party, especially in Oyo State. We are grateful to God for bringing you back as an Executive President and for these great works you have been doing.
“It is our plea today that you give support to Governor Abiola Ajimobi to become the next Senate President so that he can work with you to take Nigeria to the ‘Next Level’ and for maximum benefit to the generality of the people.”
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, addressing the crowd at the rally, urged beneficiaries of Social Investment Programmes such as TraderMoni, N-Power, School Feeding Programme to vote for Buhari in the February 16 presidential election to continue to enjoy the programme, promising that more Nigerians would still benefit from the programme.
Tinubu, in his remarks, urged the party supporters not to “let looters and greedy people lie to you and deceive you again,” saying President Muhammadu Buhari is the only choice.”
Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi Ameachi, on his own part, disclosed that the new Lagos- Ibadan rail project would be completed soon, assuring the people that Buhari and Osinbajo would ride in a train from Lagos to Abeokuta by the end of this month, and from Lagos to Ibadan before the governorship poll on March 2, this year.
Oshiomhole noted in his remarks that “In Yorubaland, we respect elders. But when someone is old and he also lies in the morning, noon and evening, such an old man doesn’t deserve our respect because respect begets respect.
The rally was attended by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the National Leader of APC and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; South West Director of APC Presidential Campaign Council, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN); Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; and many other chieftains of APC.