PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerians living in America that from 1999 to 2015 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was on power, no road was built in Nigeria, yet the elite remained quiet.
He said if he is re-elected, he will make a difference in the country.
*Watch Full Video: ”Sometimes people call me ‘Baba Go Slow.’ Those who were going fast – where did they go to?.” – President Buhari, at a meeting with Nigerians in the Diaspora yesterday, in New York.
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Meeting with the Nigerian community in the United States of America Thursday on the margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President observed that the elite allowed Nigeria to be mismanaged for 16 years of PDP rule, without as much as raising a voice in consternation.
He said: “They didn’t say a word,” President Buhari declared. “Under the PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund, of which he was Chairman), we did roads from Lagos to Abuja, to Onitsha, to Port Harcourt. Since then, the roads were not done, between 1999 and 2015, yet the elite did not say a word.
“I was called Baba Go Slow. Those who were going fast, where did they get to?
“In 1983, military officers gathered and made me Head of State. I packed the politicians into jail, told them they were guilty until they could prove their innocence. We seized what they had looted, but after I myself was put in detention, the politicians were given back what they had looted. How many elites complained about that?
“Three times I contested elections; three times I went to court after the elections were rigged against me. No justice, but I said ‘God dey.’
“It was mainly the ordinary people that stood by me. That is why I am always conscious of them. They are my constituency. Even pregnant women on the queue would fall into labour, go to have their babies, and still come back to vote for me. I will keep doing my best for the country.”
He, therefore, assured that after four more years, “I will leave some difference in that office.”
A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, in New York, noted that the diaspora Nigerians are top-flight professionals, drawn from fields like medicine, engineering, sports, the arts, investment, academia, politics, agriculture, transport, education, publishing, and many others.
They came from different parts of the United States and Canada, as representatives of USA chapters of Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) and also presented awards to President Buhari in appreciation of his performance, urging him to do more.
Most expressed the wish to come back home, and contribute to the change making a headway in Nigeria. To which the President replied: “You are contributing to this great country (America). If you want to help back home, invest in education in your constituencies. If you educate people, they won’t then accept nonsense from anybody.”
President Buhari said the administration he leads has by and largely kept faith with its three key campaign promises; to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption.
“I’ve tried to do my best since I came,” he stressed, adding: “Security-wise, we are better. Boko Haram still conducts cowardly attacks, but the insurgency is not the same as it used to be. They are terrorists and have nothing to do with religion. We will continue to deal with them. Ask people in the North-east, especially in Borno State, they will tell you they can sleep with two eyes closed now.”
The parley was put together by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Matters.
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