By Banji Ayoola
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday took its presidential campaign to Ondo and Ekiti states, where he gave reasons he believed should convince Nigerians to reelect him in the February 16 election for a second term in office.
Addressing a mammoth crowd of party supporters, mobilised across Ondo State’s 18 councils and the entire six South west states, at the Abiola Democracy Park in Akure, the Ondo State capital, he said: ”I will remind you of our campaign promises in 2015, which is on economy, security and anti-corruption, we have performed well in these three areas. We have been able to defeat Boko Haram in the North East. We are going to secure this country.
”We have have stopped importation of rice by more than 90 percent and our farmers are happy. We have fought corruption, we are building infrastructure, we are encouraging farmers. All these we will continue to do if we are reelected,” Buhari said.
According to him, “The war against Boko Haram, we are gradually winning the war to save communities from attacks.
“Attack in mosques, churches and market places are becoming rare and I am assuring you that we are going to secure this country to overcome all our security challenges.”Buhari threw a jibe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday. He said he was only seeking a second term and not a third term.
The former president is believed to have sought the elongation of his tenure in the twilight of his administration in 2017.
What became the “Third Term Agenda” collapsed when the National Assembly threw out the Constitutional Amendment into which it was inserted.
Apparently referring to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, though he did not mention his name, Buhari said:“We have just finished one term and are seeking a second one, and after that, the constitution doesn’t permit anymore,”
He said: “There are some who tried looking for more but they did not succeed. We should learn from their mistakes.
”We have just finished one term and are seeking a second one, and after that the constitution doesn’t permit anymore. There are some who tried looking for more but they did not succeed. We should learn from their mistakes,” the special assistant tweeted on tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) February 5, 2019.
Between 2006 and 2007, the former president was reported to have attempted ruling for a third term, after the expiration of his two-term tenure, permitted by the constitution.
A bill was sponsored at the National Assembly to extend term limits by another four years, but the lawmakers, who were said to have been “bribed”, did not ratify the bill.
Obasanjo, who supported Buhari in 2015, is backing Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unseat the incumbent president.
APC stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who also addressed the rally, berated the opposition party for raising rigging allegations.
He said the PDP was only afraid of APC shadow because it introduced rigging into the electoral process.
According to Tinubu, the PDP has admitted failure even before the election by its allegation that APC and Buhari planned to rig the February 16 general elections.
He said: “The PDP claimed that the APC was planning to rig election. How can you rig an election that has not been conducted? This is a clear fact that the PDP was preparing for failure. The PDP has admitted its loss of the election even before the election is conducted.”
Also, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole alleged that the PDP ruined the nation’s economy in 16 years, stressing that the current economic problems being experienced were caused by the PDP.
He said: “Both Obasanjo and Jonathan did not remember the poor when they were in government, but Buhari places the poor above the rich through his people-oriented programmes.”
He alleged that the PDP believed that the government should be used as an avenue to enrich individuals, hence the claim by its presidential candidate, Atiku, that he would privatise the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu assured Buhari and the leadership of the APC that the state would vote APC.
He said: “In 2015 when the state was not under the control of the APC, we won; how much more now that we are in control of the state. President Buhari should go and sleep as he is winning the election by the grace of God.”
Other leaders at the rally were: Governors Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); APC Deputy National Chairman (South) Niyi Adebayo; Chief Bisi Akande and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, among others.
Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had arrived in Akure, the Ondo State capital, amidst heavy security.
They earlier started their campaign at Ekiti State.
Buhari was received by Akeredolu, his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi;
Senator Ajayi Boroffice representing Ondo North Senatorial District, who is also the South West Coordinator of the Buhari Support Group; and Chief Olusola Oke, Director of Buhari Campaign Organisation in the region.
Others include Senator Tayo Alasoadura, representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, and Mr Olaide Adelami, State Coordinator, Presidential Support Committee in Ondo State.
In his own, Director General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Council, Rotimi Ameachi, challenged the Ondo State electorate that the February 16 presidential election is a must win in the state, else his door would be shut against any request from them if results at polls turned out otherwise.
He stressed that the people of Ondo State should avoid the consequences currently being faced by the people of Rivers State on the failure to vote in the APC in 2015.
The Minister of Transportation further urged the Ondo State electorate to avoid being swayed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the APC was set to ensure that they get all the benefits they deserve as a state.
“If we lose this election in this state (Ondo State), anybody from Ondo State must not come to my office. You can imagine my state, Rivers what they are losing for not being APC.
“You cannot trust PDP, when they designed their railway project, they never included Ondo State but with Buhari coming on board he directed that Akure, the state capital must be included.
“There’s no money to be shared again like in the days of the PDP, what we are doing is to ensure that there is infrastructure across the country as well as employment for all.”