By Emmanuel Mogbede
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nigerians that he will not disappoint them if he is re-elected as President in 2019.
He gave the assurance after being declared as the APC presidential candidate at the party’s National Presidential Convention which ended in the early hours of Sunday at the Abuja Eagle Square.
Buhari scored a total of 14,842,072 votes at the party’s recent presidential primaries held across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as announced by Dr Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor-elect, to emerge as the party’s candidate.
Fayemi, who was the Chairman,APC Presidential Primary Committee, later asked the no fewer than 7,00 delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to affirm the president’s candidacy through a yes vote, which they did.
Aside the statuary delegates, the delegates who were drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, were made up of three from each Local Government Area.
They were elected at the party’s State Congresses held earlier in the year.
President Buhari specifically thanked all other eligible candidates within the party who deferred their aspirations because of him in the interest of the party’s unity and overall national stability.
“Ladies and gentlemen, members of APC. I thank you deeply for your support and confidence in me. I will not let you or the people of Nigeria down.
“Fellow party members, it is with a deep sense of humility that I stand before you today to accept the nomination of our party, the APC to be its candidate and flag-bearer in the 2019 presidential elections.
“As I stand today before you, there is no honour greater than the confidence given to me by all of you when you affirmed my nomination.
“I accept this honour as a tribute and mark of confidence to carry the responsibility as we all join hands to continue the good work of the APC government to 2023 and beyond,”he said.
He thanked the party members for their support and guidance and for staying committed to the change agenda.
The president expressed gratitude to the party’s National Chairman,Mr Adams Oshiomhole, and members of the National Convention Committee for planning and conducting the convention.
He also appreciated the chairmen of National and State Executive Committees of the APC, saying:” I thank you very much for doing a difficult job well”.
President Buhari, however, noted that the result of the APC presidential primaries was different this time, because he was the only candidate.
The president, while recalling the achievements of the APC-led Federal Government, said the party was very proud of its records from 2015 to date, adding that it had arrested and checked the slide to anarchy on the security and economic fronts.
He added that Boko Haram under the government, had been reduced to attacks on soft targets as normalcy had returned to much of North-East and neighbouring North-West states.
The president also noted that the country’s currency had stabilised while its reserves was now $44 billion, a lot higher than it was in 2015 when the APC Government came into power.
“Power generation capacity has reached 8,000 megawatts as against less than 4,600 when we came into office.
“As we invest in new power generation infrastructure, we are strenuously working to address the legacy deficiencies and challenges of transmission and distribution networks across the country.
“We are executing Independent Power Projects in nine Federal Universities to deliver uninterrupted power supply and we intend to expand to a total of 37 Universities,”the president said.
He added that the Government through its Anchor Borrowers Programme and other incentives had empowered more than two million farmers to go back to agriculture.
He further added that the country now produces 80 per cent of its rice requirements as many farmers who nearly lost hope were now millionaires.
Buhari said the APC-led Federal Government had also introduced primary school feeding programmes to encourage attendance and enrollment and had introduced the conditional cash transfer.
This, he said, was to help small and medium businesses, men and women and young people who drove our economy.
He said the Government had repaired and was repairing major arterial roads and starting major railway projects with the aim of linking the 36 states with efficient road and rail transportation systems.
The president maintained that the Government was attacking corruption head-on, with international support, saying that it was presently recovering Nigeria’s stolen assets and applying same to infrastructure development.
“Today the corrupt are facing the wrath of the law and leakages have been generally blocked.We can be proud of our achievements, change has come,”President Buhari stressed.
He, however, charged Nigerians to think of how much the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Government earned between 1999 and 2015 that it was in power and what it did with it.
The president recalled that under the PDP Government, infrastructure and security was down while 18 Local Government in the North-East were under control of Boko Haram.
He said under that Government, the country’s reserves were depleted and bankruptcy was around the corner, adding that Nigerians should ask the PDP what it did with the national treasury.
He added that Nigeria was now respected internationally, saying that the international community was very supportive of the APC-Government’s efforts to put the country in order.
The convention was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, some APC governors, members of the National Assembly and other stakeholders of the party from across the federation.