“It was as a result of the competence of this administration that made the party deemed it fit to handpick him as sole aspirant before becoming candidate”
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Director-General/National Coordinator, ‘Buhari/Osinbajo Will Rule Again (BOWRA),’ Faith Oniuwherin, has said that the goodwill President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed prior to the 2015 presidential election has been tripled as he approaches the 2019 presidential election.
Why your interest in the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari?
My interest in Buhari is as a result of the fact that when you have two colours such as white and black, you should be able to choose white. Our support for him is due to the agenda that he has for the nation and we have put in our energy to ensure that his drive, his ambition, his vision in the Nigerian Project succeeds.
How do you see his re-election bid so far, particularly being the sole aspirant of the All Progressives Congress? Is that a plus to our democratic process?
That is the beauty of democracy. It was as a result of the competence of this administration in trying to ensure that things are done properly, in trying to ensure that Nigeria moves to the next level that made the party deemed it fit to handpick him as the sole aspirant before becoming the candidate. And you could see how the process went. It went on smoothly in all the states until he was finally affirmed during the last national convention. As a matter of fact, the desire of the party to ensure that no other person comes in and truncate the process of this agenda that our president has for the nation, was also responsible for the decision to make him the sole aspirant.
It is believed that the president has squandered the goodwill he had prior to 2015/. What is your take on this?
That might just be something that we can call the views of few persons because the support that the president enjoyed in the last election, has been tripled as at today. The majority of the persons, who have said one or two negative things about the president, are the elements that are against our advancement as a nation. Looking at the antecedents of the president internationally and within the country, you can testify to the fact that he has performed credibly. As a matter of fact, we didn’t see him as one who was interested in running, but when we realised that he has not even completed that which we know he has as a way of taking this country to the next level, we had to prevail on him to please run again.
The economic hardship in the land is one of the factors people believe will work against the re-election of the president. Don’t you think those who hold this position are right?
I will quickly say that the Bible and the Holy Quran simply say that it is only when you work that you will eat; that there is no food for a lazy man. I can assure you that majority of the persons that are complaining in that direction, are the elements that have been enjoying the free access of excessive fund that have been flowing, that have been stolen like never before. As I speak to you, majority of the populace who know the effect and what it has contributed to their income as a way of getting things done properly since President Buhari came into office, are the ones, saying that he has to run.
There are those who also say that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has only benefitted a few, particularly from the north. What is your take on this?
I think it boils down on individual opinion. Most of them who have said that or may have said that may be saying it from one point of view. But generally, I can assure you that it has never been like that. The activities of this government have been to unite us in terms of bringing Nigerians together.
The anti-corruption war of the administration is also said to be selective. Don’t you think those expressing this view are right?
Again, it boils down to how they see it. You know there is this sense of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. When people are saying that, the question they should ask themselves is, how many of these persons that are said to be persecuted today or that are being tried by the various courts of
competent jurisdiction, are All Progressives Congress (APC) members and how many of them are none APC members? We have many of them that are APC members. If you can recall the president’s speech during his inauguration, he mentioned that he is for everybody and for nobody.
Which areas do you think are the selling points of President Buhari for the 2019 presidential election?
There are so many areas. For instance, Nigerians have seen that within this period of his being in office, corruption has been reduced drastically and that is why you see most people saying that there is no food and that they are hungry. It is because of the inflow of acts of corruption. Those loopholes have been blocked and things are being done orderly and accurately compared to how things were in the past 16 years of PDP’s rule. Another important area is the ease of doing business. If you talk about ease of doing business, it has improved in the sense that you have the presidential order that has just been released last week where you now have a reduction in getting a business registration done with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the sum of N5, 000, all as a way of encouraging and creating a space to empower those group of persons, Nigerians who are doing one little business or another.
With the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP, President Buhari’s running mate in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said the 2019 presidential contest will be between two eagles. What does this portend for your camp?
It is good to know that we have the PDP man on the other side, in the person of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and it is good to know that he is being considered as the big eagle on the other side. But I want to assure you that the bigger eagle is in charge and as a matter of fact, he is not just in charge, he has the support of Nigerians.
So, you don’t see Atiku defeating Buhari?
He is never a threat to this administration or to the APC administration.