In the build up to the 2019 general election, the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) yesterday stormed the South South zones to mobilise support for the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari. Beginning with a rally in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the NCBSG also opened their campaign offices in Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Edo States.
Speaking at the event in Calabar, the interim Chairman of the NCBSG Board of Trustees (BOT), Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) and the former Governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri charged the people to come out enmass and support President Buhari's re-election bid.
Senator Ibrahim said that commissioning of the offices in the three states marks the formal beginning of the political process of deepening consultations and engagements with different stakeholders and shades of opinion across the South South geo- political zone to ensure continuing peace needed for national cohesion and the sustainable development of the zone and the nation at large.
The NCBSG BoT chairman said by the event, the people are providing a platform through which the process of agenda-setting shall be commenced, not only to secure the election of President Buhari for a second term, but also to guarantee the sustained mainstreaming of South South interests in national discourse.
Senator Ibrahim noted that apart from the corruption fight, which Mr. President launched against the nation’s treasury looters, the president’s prudent management style has seen the country’s foreign reserves approach of $50 Billion for the first time in many years despite his pursuance of the social investment programme which he initiated.
His words: ‘’He (Buhari) has tirelessly and selflessly worked to put the economy back on track in the last 35 months and the indicators testify to the progress we have made thus far. He has shown exemplary aversion to the plundering of our collective patrimony and has given pertinent organs of government the free hand with which to reign-in the monster of corruption that had blighted our national psyche for decades. Though it is not yet Uhuru, and we still have challenges to confront as a determined multi-cultural developing nation, Nigeria has made real progress under President Muhammadu Buhari. Those who have feasted fat on her fortunes in the past (and who are now painfully having to part with their illegitimate earnings) may see things differently but we join the millions of Nigerians, especially young ones, now taking advantage of new opportunities in the economy, to state without fear of contradiction that our years of desolate wandering are over’’.
Senator Ibrahim called on all and sundry to remain steadfast in the onerous task of nation building and continue to support Mr President to ensuring that the management of the country shall be for the good of all, and never again for the benefit of a few opportunists who use their positions to corner our common patrimony to themselves.
Ebri, on his part, said that with president Buhari Nigerians can be sure of tomorrow adding that the president is one of the notable and trusted Nigerians who have the requisite capacity to revamp the ailing economy of Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Cross River Chapter coordinator for the group, Hon. Patrick Ene stated that the people of the state were not ungrateful people regarding the number of appointments into ministerial and boards of parastatals they have received from the Buhari administration.
He said the only way to pay president Buhari in good coin was to ask for his re-election into the office of the president.
He said, “Permit me to say that president Muhammadu Buhari has been most gracious to Cross River State. Today in the list of appointees, we have from Cross River, the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Auditor General of the Federation, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, and over 20 various appointees into boards and commission and agencies among others. We are equally witnessing various infrastructural development including various road construction and rehabilitation.
“I therefore make bold to say that Cross River state has never had it so good in the history of federal governance. We, therefore, urge and endorse the President to re-contest in 2019. As a game of football, the president and his team has scored several goals in the first half, anybody saying the president should abandoned the game midway is very unfair and does not love the people.
At the event in Uyo, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters Senator Ita Enang said that insinuations making the round that the president described Nigerian Youths as Lazy while speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London was the handiwork of evil men who want to sow seed of discord between Nigerian youths and the president.
Enang who gave the clarification at the commissioning of the Akwa Ibom State office of Council for New Nigeria (CNN) and National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) explained that the president has a lot of respect for Nigerian Youths and therefore cannot described them as being lazy.
‘’The president speech was deliberately twisted by some persons to serve their evil purpose, he as a father could not have taken a swipe at all Nigerian youths because he values the youths and knows that they are the future of the country", he stated.
He enjoined the youths to discountenance such insinuation and focus more on their goal and join forces with the present administration in rescuing the country from the jaws of profligacy and corruption.
He assured people of the Niger Delta region that President Buhari would continue to give them special attention, dismissing as untrue allegations that the federal government planned to rob the Niger Delta region of oil proceeds offshore.
Obong Ignatius Edet, the Akwa Ibom state Coordinator of the group said NCBSG is the umbrella body established to structure coordinate and organize the numerous support groups and see to the success of President Buhari’s re-election come 2019.
He described president Buhari as a man of the moment whose achievement in the last three years has been felt not only locally but internationally especially his war against corruption and graft.
‘’We are all gathered here today because one-man President Muhammadu Buhari the architect and engineer of a new Nigeria. For nearly three years he has worked hard and relentlessly to put the nation firmly on the path of progress and he has a lot’’.
In Benin, the Edo State capital, the NCBSG vowed that the opposition Peopels Democratic Party, PDP will fall like a pack of cards to the ruling APC.
The group made this declaration yesterday at the official commissioning of secretariat in Benin City, the Edo state Capital.
The group led by Senator Abdul Ibrahim, the chairman Board of Trustees of the Buhari Support group had inaugurated the offices in the entire six states of the South South yesterday before they arrived Benin, asserting that Edo state was very crucial to the All progressive Congress because it is the only state the party has in the region.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at Airport Road Benin City, the Senator representing Edo North senatorial district of the state, Senator Francis Alimekhena, said the party will add more states in the South South come 2019 due to achievements of President Buhari´s administration.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at the event, Senator Alimekhena who urged the APC members to see all the groups in the party as one said, "We are launching this today does not mean that you will distance yourself from the main APC office. You should know that Edo is APC and APC is Edo state.
"This one should not divide us, we are all one group. Last time we gave President Buhari 46 per cent in Edo state but this time we are going to give him not less than 80 per cent. The South South will be captured by the APC through the ballot box. We have opened the entire office today in the South South and you should remember that Edo State is the only APC state in the South South which means that APC is Edo and Edo is APC".
Speaking also, the state Coordinator of the group, Chief Solomon Edebiri, said “The group will align with all the principles and visions of Mr President to build a new Nigeria that will not be plagued by corruption but provide a platform of hope for all Nigerians.
"We fully align with the vision and mission of NCBSG to promote the vision of Mr President for a better, stable and prosperous Nigeria. We will work with all stakeholders in this state to ensure victory at the 2019 general election for APC and Mr President", he stated.