Buhari: I Am Not Bothered by Defections
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend in Lome, the Togolese capital, said he was not bothered by the gale of defections going on in his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The president’s calling off of the bluff of some of his party men that abandoned ship for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week, received boost from the APC National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday as it dissolved the executive committee of Kwara State, manned by the loyalists of Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Buhari, according to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, was responding to a question during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Togo at the Nigerian Embassy, saying most Nigerians appreciated the performance of his administration.
He quoted him as saying, “I am not bothered about the defections. Ordinary Nigerians have developed confidence in us and are defending us. I assure you, majority of Nigerians back home are appreciative of our efforts.”
The statement said Buhari expressed delight in seeing the Nigerians who had travelled from the five regions of Togo to welcome him in Lome, adding that he was pleased to be commended on the performance of his administration.
It also said the president assured them that his administration had remained steadfast by living up to its three campaign promises on provision of security, improvement of the economy and fighting corruption.
According to Shehu, the president said if the past administrations had utilised even 25 per cent of the huge oil revenue available to them, Nigerians would not be complaining today, “citing the $16 billion allegedly spent on electricity and yet Nigerians could not see the power.”
He also said the president restated his administration’s commitment to providing critical infrastructure and provision of loans to farmers, which he said had helped in cutting rice importation by more than 90 per cent, adding that all recovered illegally acquired assets would now be sold and the money paid into the treasury in the administration’s renewed anti-graft campaign.
“I assure you that we are making progress in security as some displaced farmers are returning to their farms. We will continue to work very hard for our dear country,” he was further quoted.
The statement also said the Nigerian Ambassador to Togo, Ambassador Joseph Iji, in his welcome address, submitted that close to 2 million Nigerians in Togo were law-abiding and peaceful but drew the attention of the president to the inability of the Nigerian Mission in Lome to issue Nigerian passports and compelling applicants to go to Ghana or Benin Republic to obtain passports.
The statement added: “While representatives of top bank executives commended the economic policies of the Federal Government, especially the Ease of Doing Business, agricultural revolution and anti-corruption campaign, various leaders of the Nigerian Community also lauded the discipline, transparency and accountability that the current administration has introduced into governance.
“They also called for government assistance towards the completion of community’s on-going school building project in order to overcome the lack of good English schools in that country.
“On its part, the APC Togo Chapter, told President Buhari not to be worried about the defections from the party, assuring him of its support in the 2019 presidential election.”
APC Dissolves Kwara State Executive Committee
Meanwhile, the NWC has dissolved the state executive committee of the party in Kwara State.
In a resolution signed by the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, and the National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, the party said a caretaker committee led by Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa would be appointed to head the state executive committee of the party in the state, while caretaker committees would be constituted in the wards and local government areas (LGAs).
According to the resolution, “The NWC at its meeting of July 30, 2018, examined the unfolding developments within the party in Kwara State, specifically the irregularities that characterised the conduct and outcome of the congresses that produced the leadership of the party at all levels.”
The party said the committee also reviewed the actions of some of the leaders of the party that emerged from the above congress, who participated in an open rally calling on Saraki to decamp to the PDP.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the national chairman of the APC, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, said, “The NWC after a careful and exhaustive deliberation on this and other developments in the state chapter of the party, and pursuant to the provisions of article 13.4 (xvi) and (xvii) of the party’s constitution, invoked its powers as enshrined therein and hereby resolve to dissolve all the party organs from ward, local government and state executive of the party in Kwara State.
“To constitute caretaker committee at all levels of the party organs at ward, local government and state executive committees.
“That Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa shall and is hereby appointed as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the state executive committee of the APC in Kwara State.”
The decision, it said, took immediate effect.